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Full text of "Peeps at great cities : Berlin."

' -v . ." "' ci^' 






NATIONAL MEMORIAL. 



PEEPS AT GREAT CITIES 




BERLIN 



EDITH SIEPEN 



WITH TWELVE FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS 
IN COLOUR 

BY 




BY 



ALOIS METZ 



LONDON 

ADAM AND CHARLES BLACK 
1911 




TO 

MY DEAR FRIEND 

MRS. LOUISE TOLES (MOLLY) 

THIS LITTLE WORK IS INSCRIBKD 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I. FIRST IMPRESSIONS 5 

II. THE STREET TRAFFIC IO 

III. BERLIN PEOPLE AND THEIR HOMES . . . 1 8 

IV. XJNTER BEN LINDEN 26 

V. UNTER DEN LINDEN (continued) . . . $2 

VI. BERLIN BOYS AND GIRLS 39 

VII. AMUSEMENTS AND SPORTS . . . . , -47 

VIII. SOME TRADITIONAL CUSTOMS 53 

IX. BERLIN SHOPS 58 

X. THE LUNGS OF THE CITY 6l 

XI. THE IMPERIAL FAMILY JO 

XII. BERLIN IN SPRING . ...... 75 

XIII. CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR 80 

XIV. THE WATERWAY TO POTSDAM . . . . .87 
XV. POTSDAM 91 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



1. NATIONAL MEMORIAL ..... frontispiece 

FAONfS I'ACiK 

2. ROLLER-SKATING IN THE SIEGES- ALLEE ..,() 

3. FRIEDRICH STRASSE AT MIDNIGHT . , . . l6 

4. BRANDENBURG GATE -REICHSTAG ON LEFT . . ' 2 S 

5. PALACE KAISER WILHKLM I., WITH HISTORIC CORN KR 

WINDOW 3Z 

6. RIVER SIDE OF IMPERIAL CASTLE CATHEDRAL IN THE 

DISTANCE STATUE OF GREAT ELECTOR . . .4! 

7- POTSDAM FISH-MARKET ...... 48 

8. THE NEW LAKE IN THE TIERGARTEN . . . .57 

9- MAUSOLEUM IN CHARLOTTENBURG . . . .64 

10. POTSDAM SANSSOUCI PALACE . . . . . 8l 

11. POTSDAM HISTORIC MILL 88 

12. PARADE STEP BEFORE THE KAISER . . on the COW 

Picture-Plan of Berlin inside front cover 



BERLIN 

CHAPTER I 
FIRST IMPRESSIONS 

IT is popularly reported that when the Emperor was 
riding along one of the principal thoroughfares of 
Berlin a short time ago, he turned to the Adjutant at 
his side, and said : " Mark my words, Berlin will one 
day be the finest city in the world !" Whether the 
story is authentic or not, or whether the words, if 
uttered, were only carelessly spoken, there is more than 
a remote possibility of the prediction being fulfilled. 
The beauties of Nature and Art are so perfectly blended 
that when the softening glamour of age has settled 
over the handsome streets and buildings, little more 
will be wanting to complete the beauty of the Prussian 
capital. 

One of the first things that strikes the visitor to 
Berlin if it does not happen to be winter as the 
wealth of green everywhere. Rows of trees are planted 
along the curbstone in almost all the streets, even in 
the poorer parts of the city. They are mostly lime 
or linden- trees, the blossoms of which in early summer 
fill the air with fragrance, and the older the trees are 
the sweeter grows the perfume. The squares and 
open spaces, which are many in number, are beautifully 

5 



Berlin 

laid out with flowers and shrubs, and provided with 
broad walks and plenty of benches, where the children, 
can play and rest. Many of the newer thoroughfares 
have a promenade down the middle, with seats, and 
are bounded on either side by flower-beds tastefully 
arranged according to a cheerful colour-scheme. The 
flowers are never allowed to look faded, but the 
plants are constantly renewed and carefully tended. 
An old man may usually be seen loitering about these 
floral promenades. He is generally a veteran who has 
been through a number of battles, and wears a bit of 
ribbon in his button-hole. He passes his time 
pleasantly enough, taking care the children do not go 
on the beds, and he also gathers up untidy scraps of 
paper lying about, which he deposits In big wire 
baskets placed there for the purpose. The thick stick 
he carries is only for show, or for his own support ; 
nobody has ever seen him do more than shake it 
vigorously at a culprit. 

And then there are the balconies ! These alone 
make Berlin beautiful during three seasons of the year. 
Every flat in every house, except very old-fashioned 
ones or those in the poorer quarters, has its balcony, 
which is the family's miniature garden. Many bal- 
conies display an abundance of brilliant colour and 
rich foliage incredible when you remember how small 
the space is. The favourite flowers are the many- 
coloured nasturtiums, bright scarlet geraniums, or the 
pink hanging geraniums, and climbing roses. Berlin 
air is very fine and clear quite free from smoke and 
" smuts " and so the flowers flourish well. A balcony 
competition was recently organized in Berlin, which 

6 



First Impressions 

was most successful. It was very amusing to see the 
judges going through the streets, notebook In hand, 
craning their necks to compare the beauties of the 
hanging gardens high above them. 

The Berlin streets are for the most part very broad 
and straight. They are surprisingly even ; there is 
not a hill worthy of the name in the whole of the city. 
You are at once struck with the scrupulous cleanliness 
everywhere. No offal, no bits of straw and paper, 
such as disfigure the streets of most other large cities, 
are to be seen. Dirt is swiftly swept away by the 
city scavengers in their neat uniformblack cap, belted 
tunic, and boots to the knee ; and that scarecrow of 
the English streets the tattered amateur crossing- 
sweeper is unknown. The streets are well and regularly 
washed by the municipal carts : rather too frequently 
for the bicyclists and roller-skaters, for the roads are 
nearly all asphalted, and when wet are very slippery, 

Berlin drinking-water is excellent, so clear and pure 
and refreshing that it is a wonder the working-classes 
do not prefer it to beer, but they unfortunately do 
not. Tlie drainage and sanitary arrangements of 
Berlin, in contradistinction to many other German 
towns, are splendid. When the cholera was raging in 
Hamburg in 1892, offering an object-lesson in cleanli- 
ness to the municipality there, and spreading on every 
side, it was kept out of Berlin by main force, through 
the prompt and energetic action of the authorities. 
The streets and sewers were disinfected and washed 
every night ; the greatest caution and cleanliness were 
ordered in the houses and public buildings, under pain 
of heavy fines. A list of precautionary measures to 

7 



Berlin 

be taken by householders was posted up at every 
street corner, and all in-coming trains were put into 
quarantine, Berlin smelt of disinfectants from one 
end to the other, but it was saved. And it is only 
175 miles from Berlin to Hamburg ! 

There are no street-beggars in Berlin, and you are 
at once impressed by the tidy appearance of the poor 
people. No tatters and no cheap finery, but clean 
and decent clothing is the invariable rule. 

If you should enter Berlin for the first time at: night 
you cannot fail to appreciate the clean, wen-lighted 
railway-stations and the brilliant lighting of the streets. 
Berlin is said to be the most luminous city in the world. 
The chief thoroughfares are illuminated by a row of 
huge electric lamps down the centre of the horse- 
road. The lamps are suspended from iron wires 
attached to tall masts on either side, and form a bril- 
liant and imposing vista. 

Berlin's trim appearance is increased by the lack of 
disfiguring advertisement posters, such as cover every 
available Inch in London, and render the railway- 
stations labyrinths of mystery to the bewildered 
foreigner. Large round pillars, about ten feet high., 
at the corners of the streets are the medium of public 
advertisement, and they are rather picturesque than 
otherwise. Each theatre has its bill posted up daily, 
and you know exactly where to look for it, to see who 
is playing and when the performance begins and ends. 
Notices to the public about meetings and important 
regulations are there too, as well as advertisements 
for lost pets, often with the poor doggie's portrait. 
When you see a crowd of people reading a bright 

8 



First Impressions 



i 



crimson notice, you know the police are offering a 
reward for the apprehension of someone who has 
committed a crime. The pillars are useful also in 
another way, for they are hollow, and inside are the 
brushes and paste and short ladder which are used by 
the bill-stickers long before daybreak. A man named 
Litfass invented these pillars many years ago, and made 
a fortune by the invention. They still bear his name, 
being known as the " Litfass-Saulen." 

All the streets and buildings impress you as so new 
and clean that you may well ask if there is no old 
Berlin. The very few ancient landmarks have almost 
all disappeared, but there is still one block of old 
houses left standing, near the river and in the heart 
of the city. This is often visited by artists and 
students of Berlin history. It is a relic of the time 
when Berlin was a fishing- village. Up a very narrow 
passage you go into an old, old court, with high tene- 
ment houses on each side and a sundial at one end. 
There is always a group of youngsters hanging round 
the entrance to the " Krogel," as the court is called, all 
eager to earn a few pfennigs by pointing out the way to 
the sundial. 

In many respects Berlin, compared with other great 
capitals, is a city of silence. It is true that since the 
motor-bus and the ubiquitous " auto " have added 
their hoots to the clang of the electric tram-bell, things 
are not what they were, but still many street noises 
are prohibited. There are no street-cries. " Milk !" 
" Swe-epe !" " Speshul 'dishun !" and similar inviting 
calls of the eager hawker are unknown here- Bus- 
conductors do not shout their destination and fare 



Berlin 

into your ears, and the " French piano " and " German 
band " are conspicuous by their absence. Only the 
mighty milkman, Bolle, who has so many hundreds of 
employes that he built a church for them which was 
opened by the Empress, is allowed the privilege of a 
bell to each of his carts, and its ring has become a daily 
alarum to many early risers. 

Berlin possesses fine monuments of marble and 
bronze, and beautiful fountains too numerous to count. 
Among the finest statues are those, in bronze, of 
Frederick the Great and the Great Elector in Unter 
den Linden ; and, in white marble, of Frederick 
William III., Queen Luise, and Goethe, all in the 
Tiergarten the Hyde Park of Berlin. The Prussian 
capital revels in architectural beauties of the Renais- 
sance and later Schools. The Berliners are also fond 
of uniting Medieval and Renaissance styles in their 
public buildings with good effect, of which the hand- 
some Rathaus (Gmldhall)'is a specimen. The artistic 
taste expended upon private houses in Berlin is quite 
extraordinary. There are friezes, fagades, and reliefs 
on many a mansion, and even stucco ornamentation on 
ordinary dwellings that would fill the heart of a student 
of design with rapture. 



CHAPTER II 
THE STREET TRAFFIC 

No city in the world has so rapidly developed as 
Berlin. Twenty years ago it was of comparative 
unimportance, and not particularly interesting in any 



10 



The Street Traffic 

way. Sometimes people say to friends in the provinces: 
" What ! You have not seen Berlin for ten years ? 
Ah, then you must go ! You won't recognize it P 
It is no wonder that the regulation of the enormous 
street traffic is always occupying the minds of Mayor 
and Corporation and Police. 

One evening., a year or two ago, the Emperor went on 
foot to the busy Potsdamcr Platz, where, watching the 
terribly congested traffic for a quarter of an hour, he 
satisfied himself as to the urgent necessity for improve- 
ment. His Majesty, who is always seen here in the 
uniform of one or other of his many regiments, donned 
civilian's dress on that occasion, and so passed unrecog- 
nized. It must have been quite a novel sensation for him. 

Frequent visits have been paid by the Chief of 
Police to London, and detachments of Berlin con- 
stables have been sent across the Channel to learn from 
their more experienced colleagues. Much better 
order is now maintained in Berlin, and the policemen 
exercise more politeness towards the public than they 
once did, although, of course, they are not so obliging 
as that charming person the London policeman, A 
Berlin policeman is a very important individual indeed 
in his own estimation, and there is no trifling with him. 
He looks very imposing, too, with his shining helmet 
and short sword. He has usually reached the military 
rank of a sergeant before joining the force, and as a 
somewhat rough tone prevails in the Prussian army 
this no doubt accounts for his dictatorial manner* 
When a Berlin policeman has escorted an old lady 
across the road quite a recent accomplishment it 
is very funny to see him give his collar a pull up and 

II 



Berlin 

make a face as though he had swallowed medicine. 
He fears he has lost something of his dignity. But 
though he may be more feared than liked by the people, 
his bark is worse than his bite, and I have always found 
if you approach him cautiously and kindly he will 
willingly reciprocate. A Berlin policeman's hours are 
very long and fatiguing, his pay is poor, and his life 
generally not a bed of roses by any means. 

The traffic is now regulated at big centres by well- 
drilled men, one or two of whom are armed with a 
small trumpet, whose shrill voice stops one long line 
of vehicles till the other has crossed* A mounted 
policeman is on view too. He is supposed to gallop 
after any runaway delinquent ; but I have never seen 
him do it, or ? indeed, do anything but sit on his 
magnificent horse like a statue in blue uniform. 

In Germany you drive on the right side of the road, 
and overtake, of course, on the left. This makes it 
very awkward at first when you have been used to 
driving or cycling in England. My first experience 
of this was many years ago, in a little Saxon town in 
winter. My friends had injudiciously entrusted them- 
selves and their sleigh with its two young and lively 
horses into my keeping. It was all right when we 
could fly along the quiet, snow-clad roads of the sur- 
rounding country, but on entering the town, where 
other sledges would insist on driving on the right when 
I wanted to keep to the left, it was a different matter, 
and I think I would rather not tell you what happened. 
Fortunately, snow is very soft, and Germans are good- 
natured people. 
Getting about is cheap in Berlin. You can go a 

12 



The Street Traffic 

distance of nearly ten miles in an electric tram for a 
penny., and the horse-omnibus will take you quite a 
long way for half that sum. Horse-omnibuses are 
heavy,, clumsy vehicles, and their pace is slow. Motor- 
buses are now very frequent, but the principal public 
vehicle of the Berlin streets remains the huge electric 
tram, the majority with a rear car attached, which, 
if the streets were not very broad, would be dreadfully 
in the way. When there is any obstruction on the lines, 
or anything happens to a car, you see a line of stationary 
trams, as far as the eye can reach, all full of impatient 
people abusing the company. As Berlin is very cold 
in winter, the cars are heated by little boxes of charcoal 
concealed beneath the benches, while in summer all the 
windows are open, and there Is usually an open car 
In the rear. The omnibuses, too, are open in summer, 
and smoking is then permitted Inside. The swift 
" taxi " is, of course, popular, but there are still plenty 
of people who, if time is not an object, prefer the 
comfortable horse-4r0jrA*, which Is like a small 
victoria, with a hood to put up In case of rain. 

Hansom cabs are never seen here, with one solitary 
antiquated exception. This cab has belonged for years 
to a well-known firm of dyers, but it is still the centre 
of attraction wherever it appears. Dogs often draw 
little carts In Berlin, as in other parts of Germany, for 
the poor people. They are usually well treated, and 
are devoted to their master, who always lends his 
useful friend a helping hand in pulling the small 
vehicle. An attempt has often been made to introduce 
donkeys into Berlin, but the idea has never caught on, 
and It is very rarely that one is seen. 



Berlin 

Berlin has an excellent underground and elevated 
electric railway, which is being extended in every 
direction, and is always crowded with passengers. 
The underground section is not nearly so deep down 
as the " Tube/' so that there is no need of lifts. At 
regular intervals there is a grated skylight and a flight 
of steps leading up to the street in case of accident, so 
that everyone feels very safe. 

Berlin being the capital of Prussia, and Prussia being 
nothing if not a military country, the general aspect 
of the streets is brightened by multitudinous uniforms, 
some of which are very gorgeous indeed. The officers, 
who seldom or never wear mufti, are mostly splendidly 
built men. They are good horsemen and capital 
dancers, and are always considered most decorative at 
an evening party. Military service, you know, is com- 
pulsory in Germany, and you can detect at once the 
man who has served his year by his square shoulders 
and broad chest. 

Everything gives way to the military element in 

Berlin, and on review days the traffic is held up for 

hours while the endless columns of infantry, cavalry, 

and artillery pass. No civilian, however busy he may 

be, is permitted to break through the lines, even when 

there is a considerable gap. I suppose something 

terrible would happen to him if he should do so, but he 

is far too well trained to attempt it. So the business 

man goes a long way round to get to his destination, 

thinking the naughty language he doesn't dare to utter. 

The Berlin Fire-Brigade is one of the best in the 

world. When the engines with their splendid horses, 

or the motor-engines, which are used in some districts, 

H 



The Street Traffic 

dash through the streets, ringing a loud bell Incessantly, 
all the traffic stops till they have passed. It is the one 
occasion on. which a troop of soldiers with their com- 
manding officers makes a halt. Very seldom indeed is 
anyone burnt to death in Berlin, though the houses 
are four and sometimes five stories high. The Berlin 
people have the utmost confidence in their fine 
Brigade, and I have seen persons in one flat looking 
calmly out of the windows, watching a fire being 
extinguished in the flat above or below them. The 
Empress shows her sympathy with the brave firemen 
very practically. Once every year she receives at the 
Castle those who have most distinguished themselves 
during the past twelve months. After talking to them 
kindly about their work and their families. Her Majesty 
makes them a present of money, and frequently adds 
some personal souvenir, like a photograph or a n otc- 
booL 

Not only, however, is the Berlin Fire - Brigade 
famous for extinguishing conflagrations. It renders 
assistance to the citizens in so many ways that the 
popular name for it is the " Maid-of-all-Work." If 
anyone is run over by a tramcar and cannot be 
extricated, up gallop the engines with cranes and iron 
pivots, the huge car is speedily raised, and the prisoner 
released, sometimes hardly injured. After very heavy 
rain the basement dwellings are often flooded, and 
then the firemen come along with their hose and pump 
the water out. If a horse and cart, backing at a 
landing-place, fall into the river, the fire-engines are 
requisitioned, and before long steed and vehicle are 
again on dry land. Twice within my recollection an 



Berlin 

automobile Droschke has dashed by mistake into the 
canal, each time being rescued by the Fire-Brigade. 
One of the cabs was closed, and the ladies inside got 
through the window and sat on the roof, cheered by a 
sympathetic crowd on the banks. They were alarmed 
and rather wet, but quite unhurt, and being Berlin 
ladies, they waited in confident expectation that the 
Feuerwehr would come to their assistance. 

A sight that the Berliners have now grown accustomed 
to, but which still strikes country cousins as remark- 
able, is the number of roller-skaters in the streets. 
You see clerks going to business, errand-boys taking 
messages and parcels, and boys and girls going to school 
knapsack on back in busy thoroughfares, all rinking 
along gaily over the asphalt, hanging on occasionally 
to a cart to help them through thick traffic, The 
police, usually so austere and so careful of everyone's 
safety, have as yet placed no restrictions upon roller- 
skaters, beyond prohibiting more than two to skate 
parallel and confining them to the horse-road. In the 
quiet streets outside the city rinking has become the 
favourite sport of all juveniles, rich and poor. 

If a funeral procession comes along, you will be 
astonished at the gloomy draping of the hearse, which 
is a relic of barbarism. It looks like a huge box tightly 
covered with black cloth the wheels, even, are hardly 
visible. A black and silver cross at the front is the 
sole ornament. The horses, two to six in number, 
according to the deceased's rank and means, are draped 
from head to hoof in black, and their eyes look weirdly 
out of holes cut in the cloth. They are led by men on 
foot, and it is a wonder that they do not take fright 

16 



The Street Traffic 

at their own terrifying aspect. The wreaths follow 
piled on open hearses, and the mourners bring up the 
rear in closed carriages. 

It has often been said that the Berliners never go 
to bed. It is certainly a matter of astonishment that 
they can manage with so little sleep. The Friedrich 
Strasse, the longest street in Europe, presents at one 
o'clock in the morning almost as lively an appearance 
as at noon. Restaurants and beer-gardens keep open 
till three in the morning, or even later, and many 
cafes all night long, while performances in the cabarets 
do not begin before midnight. No matter how late 
the average Berliner goes to bed, he rises at an early 
hour every day, for shops, warehouses, and offices open 
at eight, and there is often a long distance to cover 
before he gets to his business. On Sunday, however, 
when the banks and factories are closed, he takes his 
rest. 

Notwithstanding the enormous quantity of beer con- 
sumed in Berlin, you very seldom see a drunken man 
in the streets, and never a drunken woman. German 
beer is of a much lighter kind than that consumed in 
England, and adulteration of all liquors is so severely 
punished by law, that they are not so injurious here as 
in some countries. 

There are many little kiosks in the streets, where 
newspapers are sold, and often, too, Selters-water and 
lemonade by the glass. Flower-sellers with huge flat 
baskets full of fragrant blossoms stand at the corners 
of the streets and squares, making them very bright and 
pretty. An umbrella fixed to the basket provides 
shade for the vendor and his wares. Berlin people are 

17 3 



Berlin 

passionately fond of flowers, and the Itinerant florist 
does a capital trade. 

Berlin streets are well stocked with clocks. At 
many of the busy centres there is what is called a 
" Normal Clock," mounted on a big pillar. Those 
clocks are regulated from the Royal Observatory, and 
go, of course, to the second. Everyone compares his or 
her watch with the Normalubr in passing. 

Berlin people themselves have still a good deal to 
learn. They are only just beginning, for instance, to 
walk on the right, despite repeated requests from the 
police authorities to do so. Then they are rather 
given to walking in the horse-road at times, imagining 
no doubt Berlin is still the rural village it once was, 
and when they get run over they are most illogically 
indignant. But these are trifles that will right them- 
selves in due course, when the Berliners have grown 
accustomed to the dimensions of their fine city. 



CHAPTER III 

BERLIN PEOPLE AND THEIR HOMES 

ONCE upon a time an English girl came out to Berlin, 
and, during the short time the train waited at Hanover, 
she hastily drank a cup of coffee in the refreshment- 
room. The waiter was short-tempered or perhaps 
she did not understand him and the coffee was poor ; 
moreover, he had auburn hair. It is said the English 
girl then purchased a picture-postcard for her home- 
folks, and wrote as follows : " Germans have red hair 
and are very unfriendly ; they can't speak English, and 

18 



Berlin People and Their Homes 

make bad coffee." Now, this is a specimen just a 
little exaggerated perhaps of the unfair judgments 
strangers and foreigners are often guilty of. To know 
a people well, you must live among them, speak their 
language, and be familiar with their customs. The 
Germans are very warm-hearted, generous people, and 
the Berliners are particularly kind and hospitable towards 
foreigners. As they are fond of gaiety, too, the English 
boy or girl who comes across to study usually has quite 
a good time, and generally looks back upon his or her 
sojourn in Berlin with pleasure ever after. 

Berlin is very different from London in the matter 
of people living in the town. Although nowadays some 
live in the suburbs, and come up to town by train to 
business, the majority of Berlin people live in Berlin 
itself. The classes are jumbled up in a very strange 
manner. In a house with large and expensive flats you 
will often see a little greengrocer's shop or a baker's, 
or perhaps a cobbler lives in the basement, and all 
these small tradesfolk are patronized by the occupants 
of the grand flats up higher. People in Berlin, you 
know, nearly all live in flats, and these are delightfully 
cosy and comfortable, and often most luxurious. 

The houses are very high ; there are always four, and 
sometimes five, stories, and the top floor is usually the 
favourite of English residents, because the air is better 
and it is so much quieter. It is not pleasant to be 
awakened out of your first sleep by the neighbours 
above you returning from a dance, or to have a piano 
or, still worse, a pianola going merrily over your head 
when you want to study. And then in all the newer 
houses there is a lift, with seats and electric Hght 3 



Berlin 

so that it is no inconvenience to live on the upper 
floors. 

Many of the houses are quite palatial. The huge 
door, which is so heavy that a child can hardly push it, 
is opened when you ring by the porter, who lives with 
his family in a tiny dwelling on the ground floor, and 
who usually pops his head out of a side window to 
inquire your business. The house-door is locked by 
him at ten o'clock every night, and when you go to a 
theatre or party you had better not forget to take 
the house-key, or you may stand for a long time in the 
cold trying to wake the porter. The entrance-hall is 
generally of marble, or a clever imitation,, and the 
stairs also are often of marble. The decoration is 
lavish : mirrors are let into the walls,, and there are 
often shrubs in the hall, and hall and staircase are 
carpeted, sometimes very richly. 

Berlin flats are always admired by English visitors 

for their comfort. All the newer houses are heated 

by steam, so that they are never cold in any part, and 

hot water is laid on in the kitchen and bathroom, even 

when the flat is quite a tiny one. The older houses 

are heated by tall stoves made of china tiles. Much 

fun has been poked at these stoves, and they have 

frequently been likened to tombstones. But, in reality, 

the^ are not often ugly, and their cosy warmth reaches 

into every corner of the room. They are heated by 

means of " brikets," or cakes of compressed coal, which 

cause neither smell nor dirt. Sometimes a Kamin, 

or English fire-grate, is built into a stove in one of the 

drawing-rooms, and the hostess will show it you with 

pride, for English things and ways are fashionable. 

20 



Berlin People and Their Homes 

All the reception-rooms of a Berlin flat lead out of 
each other. They are very tastefully decorated, and 
all the floors, excepting those of the bedrooms, are of 
inlaid wood and highly polished. A large flat, with its 
long vista of rooms, makes a very imposing appearance. 
An average-sized flat is divided up in the following 
manner : dining-room and salon, sitting-room and 
Herrnzimmer (master's room ; or, as we should say, 
the study), and perhaps a boudoir for the lady of the 
house or a music-room. The bedrooms, nurseries, 
and servants' rooms are generally at the back, over- 
looking the wide court, which is planted out with small 
trees and shrubs. The kitchen of a Berlin flat is charm- 
ing, so clean and pretty it is a pleasure to look at it. 
German housewives and their maids take an equal 
pride in that department of the menage. At night the 
" breakfast-bag " is hung outside the door leading to 
the back stairs, and in the morning at six o'clock the 
maid finds it filled with delicious white crisp rolls, 
which, with fresh butter and excellent coffee, form 
the ordinary breakfast of the Berliners. Rye " black 
bread," which is not really black, but brown or grey, 
and which, however much maligned by foreigners, is 
very good and wholesome, is never eaten for breakfast. 

Electric light and gas are laid on everywhere, and 
the cooking is nearly all done by gas. Every -flat 
possesses a lumber-room on the attic-floor and a cellar 
down below, and, for the convenience of all the occu- 
pants who like their washing done at home, each house 
is provided with a complete laundry just under the 
roof. Berlin houses are built in rectangular form, with 
the courtyard in the centre. From the court, in 

21 



Berlin 

addition to the back stairs of the front flats, go other 
flights of stairs, usually nicely carpeted and lighted 
with electric light, just like those of the larger dwel- 
lings. These lead to small flats of two or three rooms, 
called garden flats. Such a cosy little home is often 
rented by a couple of American girls who have come over 
to study music, and, with the assistance of the porter's 
wife, they enjoy their bachelor housekeeping Immensely. 
German servants are very hard-working and honest 
as a rule. It is usual in a large flat to keep a Diener, 
or man-servant. A German Diener is a wonderfully 
handy boy, and can do anything from cleaning boots, 
brushing your dresses, and waiting at table, to fetching 
the younger children home from school, and doing all 
the marketing on the way. A Diener is, in fact, a 
household treasure, and could give points to his 
aristocratic London colleague " Jeames," who would 
certainly turn up his nose at him. 

It is difficult sometimes to distinguish a middle-class 
mistress from her maid-of-all-work, for the latter 
wears no cap and the former is rarely seen without an 
apron. Aprons play an extraordinary part In the 
feminine German wardrobe. I have counted as many 
as twelve pages in the illustrated price-list of a large 
Berlin establishment, all devoted to that particular 
article : big serviceable coloured aprons for cooking 
and the Wirtschaft generally, white ones of all sizes for 
various purposes, small " dress " aprons of fancy material, 
highly trimmed with lace, for afternoons, and neat black 
silk aprons, favoured by old ladies, with a little coloured 
embroidery if the wearer be of a volatile turn. 

Berlin is very cold in winter. The east wind blows 

^^ 



Berlin People and Their Homes 

across from the Russian Steppes with no mountain 
range to break its force. All the windows of the flats 
are double, which keeps out cold and noise at the same 
time, although it makes a good deal more work for the 
maid. The windows are quite different from English 
ones; they open inwards like doors, and, like the doors, 
too, they do not have knobs, but long brass handles. 
Between the double panes you often see in spring a 
row of hyacinths in glasses, which has a very pretty 
effect. 

Of the balconies I have already spoken. A Berlin 
family makes more use of the balcony in summer than 
of a room. If it is large enough, all the members of the 
family will take their breakfast and supper there. The 
balcony is often lighted by electric lamps, and there 
are lounge chairs and a serviceable table. You can 
hear the sound of merry voices proceeding from behind 
a wall of flowers and greenery all along the street till 
a late hour on a summer's night. In the daytime 
children have quiet games or do their lessons there, 
the gay, striped awning keeping off the sun; and the 
baby of the family will often repose for hours together 
in his cot in a sheltered corner. You will often hear 
a canary's song or a parrot's chatter, or see a pet dog 
looking down at the passers-by as you go past ; in 
short, the balcony is the family rendezvous. 

Some of the very wealthy Berliners occupy whole 
houses, which are called villas. These are generally 
huge mansions close to the road, with only a scrap of 
garden if they are in Berlin itself; but a few miles out 
of the town there are plenty of houses standing in 
beautiful grounds. This is particularly the case in 

23 



Berlin 

the Grunewald a wooded district that is quite 
charming. Here Herr von Mendclssohn-Bartholdy, 
the grandson of the great composer,, lives, and many 
famous artists and writers. A few of tfie newest Berlin 
houses have a roof-garden, which may be used by all 
the tenants upon extra payment. In time roof-gardens 
will certainly become general. The houses being often 
of a uniform height for a whole street, you can go for 
a walk of quite a distance over the roofs, if you can 
prevail upon the porter to let you go up, Occasionally 
a would-be burglar escapes in this manner, and once I 
witnessed an exciting chase after one by a dozen 
policemen over the flat roofs of two streets. After a 
good deal of stumbling over chimney-tops and sky- 
lights the man was caught. 

It is difficult to keep pets in flats, yet dogs there arc 
in abundance, in spite of the disgracefully high tax of 
thirty shillings a year. Only those that are kept for 
drawing carts are exempt. Until recently all Berlin 
dogs were compelled by law to wear a muzzle. When 
the order was repealed there was general rejoicing on 
the part of masters and dogs, and many of the latter 
went about proudly wearing ribbons and flowers. They 
feel themselves masters of the situation now, and are 
very audacious ; and croaking folks who don't like 
doggies say the muzzling order will soon come into 
force again. Berlin people do not care for cats, and 
you rarely see any. 

Berlin homes in winter are very cosy. Often after 
supper one of the family will read aloud, while the girls 
get out the fancy work they do so beautifully, and 
there is very often music. Some young neighbours 

24 



Berlin People and Their Homes 

will perhaps come in, and a dance is improvised. A 
carpet is quickly rolled back, and over the polished 
floor the boys and girls waltz and " two-step " while 
Mutti plays for them. 

The Berlin people are very fond of gaiety. They 
enjoy taking their supper very often in a fashionable 
restaurant, and in winter there is frequently a Stamm- 
tisch a reserved table for several families, who meet 
one night a week to eat and drink and chat. The 
men smoke and talk business and politics after the meal 
is over, while their wives gossip about their intimate 
affairs and criticize the fashions of the other ladies. 
Nowadays, the ladies sometimes smoke a cigarette too. 
In summer the open-air restaurants are crowded, and the 
big beer-gardens which are also restaurants gener- 
ally have a good military band playing at intervals. 
Berlin people have rather loud voices, and they don't 
mind in the least discussing their private affairs in 
public. Thus it frequently happens that when two 
friends meet in a tramcar all the rest of the passengers 
are made acquainted with all sorts of interesting bits of 
news how Gretchen would become betrothed to 
Hans, in spite of his pay of a hundred marks a month 
for serving his country as a Lieutenant ; and how 
Mariechen's baby has cut its first tooth ; and how 
important it is for mein Mann to go to Carlsbad, as he 
is getting quite too terribly stout. 

Berliners have a good deal of mother-wit : not, 
perhaps, always refined, but generally to the point. 
They have no objection at all to turning their wit 
against themselves or their belongings. "What is 
quicker than thought ?" is a VolVs riddle, whose 

25 4 



Berlin 

answer runs : " A Berlin Droschke horse, because, when 
you think it's going to fall, it is down already." The 
point is obvious, for Berlin cab-horses are rather poor 
specimens of their race. To tell the truth, though, 
it is usually the fault of the driver when they do 
tumble down, for Berlin Droschkenkutschers are the 
reverse of skilful with the reins. 

The German language, you know, has many dialects, 
which are almost like different languages. The Berlin 
dialect is never to be confused with any other, once 
you have heard it. It is not elegant, but, like the 
people, it is gemiitlich^ and as there is no word in 
English that quite expresses gemutlich I must leave 
you to guess its meaning. 

CHAPTER IV 

UNTER DEN LINDEN 

THE thoroughfare known as Unter den Linden is the 
most interesting in Berlin. At one end is the Branden- 
burg Gate, and at the other, a mile away, is the Schloss, 
or Imperial Castle, the town residence of the Emperor. 
Sophie Charlotte, the first Queen of Prussia, planted, 
two hundred years ago, the first linden or lime-tree, 
from which the street derives its name. The trees 
form a double row down the centre, and are not such 
fine specimens of their kind as those in some other 
parts of the city. 

The Linden, as it is popularly called, is two hundred 
feet broad. It is really three thoroughfares : the 
avenue in the middle for pedestrians, with a riding 

26 



Unter den Linden 

way parallel, and on either side a broad street with 
handsome buildings and shops. Several of the finest 
hotels are in Unter den Linden. The thoroughfare is 
lighted brilliantly by three rows of electric arc-lights, 
which, with the illumination of the hotels and shops, 
make it almost as light as day. It is the direct road 
to the Schloss, indeed, the only one of any great 
width, and as it leads straight to the Tiergarten, it is 
always used by the Imperial family when they ride or 
drive out. 

Brandenburg Gate has nine separate entrances to 
the Linden : the middle one, at which a sentinel 
stands, being exclusively for the use of royal carriages. 
Only one exception is made to this rule : the fire- 
engines are allowed to pass, to save time. One of the 
old guard-houses is at Brandenburg Gate, and you 
may always know of the approach of any of the Imperial 
family by the alertness of the sentries, and then, of 
course, by the rattling of the drums. A large crowd 
always collects outside Brandenburg Gate to watch 
for the coming of the Emperor, who, when in Berlin, 
goes for a ride or drive every afternoon. You never, 
in fact, pass Brandenburg Gate without seeing a lot 
of expectant people standing about, hoping for a sight 
of His Majesty or the Empress. The men-servants of 
the Imperial household wear a neat blue livery with 
silver buttons, and silver eagles on their collars. When 
a coachman is driving any of the Imperial family he 
has silver eagles round his hat too, so you know at once 
whether a Majesty or Royal Highness is inside, or only 
a lady or gentleman of the Court. 

The motor-cars of the Emperor and Empress are 

27 



Berlin 

all white, and the chauffeurs wear chocolate-coloured 
liveries with silver eagles. Instead of the ordinary 
hoot a peculiar flourish is sounded on a trumpet by a 
man sitting at the chauffeur's side. The Crown Prince 
has a similar signal, and whenever it is heard there is a 
rush to see who is coming. The royal cars go at a 
great pace, and when they are closed little is seen of 
the occupants, but there is plenty of enthusiasm all 
the same, and all the men raise their hats as the car 
flies past. 

If the lime-trees of Unter den Linden could speak, 
and could tell us what they have seen in bygone years, 
how interesting it would be ! In 1807 the all-con- 
quering Napoleon rode under Brandenburg Gate with 
his soldiers, and took possession of the city, after King 
Friedrich Wilhelm III. and his lovely Queen had fled 
to Konigsberg. On the summit of the gate, some 
ninety feet high, an imposing Chariot of Victory in 
bronze caught the eyes of the French, who considered 
it a trophy worth taking home to Paris, So the 
Goddess of Victory and her chariot were hauled down, 
packed up, and transported to a foreign country. 
For some reason, however, she was never unpacked, 
and when, seven years later, the tables were turned, and 
the Germans triumphed, she was found just as she 
had left Berlin, and was promptly brought back to her 
old home by Bllicher. Before her travels the goddess 
had been driving her fiery steeds towards the Tier- 
garten ; she was replaced, however, on the gate facing 
the Linden and the Schloss. 

The Berlin people took the loss of their " Victoria " 
terribly to heart, and an amusing anecdote is told of 

28 



Unter den Linden 

Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, the founder and famous 
teacher of gymnastics in Germany. Seeing one of his 
pupils playing one day before Brandenburg Gate, Jahn 
asked him what was missing on that fine structure. 
The boy naturally replied : " The Victoria." " And," 
asked his master, " what do you think about it ?" The 
boy didn't think anything particular about it, and said 
so, whereupon he received a box on the ears with the 
words : " You are to think it must be brought back 
again !" Certainly Jahn did his best personally to 
bring the trophy back, for soon after that incident he 
went into battle with a whole troop of his elder pupils, 
and distinguished himself by special bravery, as became 
the " Father of Gymnastics." 

After the Franco-German War was over, and the 
King of Prussia had been crowned German Emperor 
at Versailles, the Linden witnessed a spectacle, which 
nobody who saw it will ever forget. On June 16, 
1871, when the trees were in full blossom and fragrance, 
the Emperor William I. made his triumphal entry into 
Berlin at the head of his army. Through the Bran- 
denburg Gate towards the Schloss they came. The 
enthusiasm was indescribable. Mothers, wives, and 
sisters ran to meet their loved ones, home returning 
dusty and weary, many with bandaged heads and 
limbs, many of them lying in the ambulances and 
clung to them as though they would never let them go. 
Others crowned the warriors with laurel-wreaths in 
the wild joy and excitement. Tears of mingled joy 
and grief for many would never return home again 
were on all faces, and the eyes of the Emperor, sitting on 
his horse, with Moltke and Bismarck at his side, in the 

29 



Berlin 

midst of the battle-worn flags and the cheering 
thousands, were wet too. The old benches all along 
the centre of the Linden, on which whoever was first 
in the crowd of spectators managed to get an inch or 
two of standing room to see the never-ending proces- 
sion, are there still, among the many newer additions, 
and there they will certainly be permitted to remain 
till they drop to pieces. 

And then saddest sight of all that the Linden has 
ever witnessedthe funeral procession of the old 
Emperor passed down the middle avenue on that 
bitter March day in the eventful year of 1888 three 
eights, three Kaisers ! Never was a monarch more 
beloved. The kindly consideration for all with whom 
he came in contact, his unassuming manner and simple 
mode of living, his unblemished character, gained him 
the deeply rooted love of his subjects, which exceeded 
even their admiration of him as a hero. He had 
suffered with them, and he had given them an Empire. 
He had been one with his people all his life ; his nine- 
tieth birthday had been celebrated with universal 
rejoicings ; and now he had passed from them. Berlin 
was a city of mourning ; strong men wept, and were 
not ashamed of their tears. 

For several days the body of the much-loved 
Sovereign lay in state in the old Cathedral an unpre- 
tending building, now replaced by a handsome edifice. 
The cold was so intense that charcoal fires were lighted 
in the streets for the guard, yet the crowds stood 
patiently and silently for hours, waiting their turn to 
enter. Nearly all the crowned heads of Europe came 
for the funeral, and the procession was over a mile in 

30 



Unter den Linden 

length. William I. was laid to rest in the Mauso- 
leum at Charlottenburg, adjoining Berlin, whither, 
two years later, his widow, the Empress Augusta, 
followed him. 

Nowadays Unter den Linden is very gay. There is 
always something doing there, and there are always so 
many people " bummelling " along that you would 
never take Berlin to be the busy, hustling city that it 
really is. When any foreign monarchs come to Berlin, 
and are received in state, the Linden is the scene of a 
great deal of display. Platforms are erected in Pariser 
Platz, the large space just inside Brandenburg Gate, 
and there the royal carriages make a halt for the occu- 
pants to listen to the Mayor's welcome to the city. 
Then the Maids-of-Honour pretty girls in white 
present flowers to the august visitors, and the cortege, 
with its bands and guard of honour, and all the rest of 
it, proceeds at a walking pace along the centre avenue 
to the Schloss. Thus it was on the memorable visit 
of King Edward and Queen Alexandra. The entire 
Linden was decorated with festoons of roses, triumphal 
arches, and flags, while many of the buildings ex- 
hibited exquisite floral designs and mottoes. The 
whole front of the Opera House, I remember, was 
covered with flowers of royal blue a beautiful sight 
which delighted their Majesties particularly. 

The royal carriages passing to and fro help to keep 
the Linden lively. It is very interesting to see the 
Emperor riding his handsome grey horse, or, sometimes, 
the well-known chestnut with the white socks, at- 
tended by a number of officers in uniform, and 
followed by the equerries and grooms in gorgeous 

31 



Berlin 

liveries. The cavalcade usually goes at a walking pace 
till it reaches the Tiergarten, so you can sec His 
Majesty easily, and if you make a very nice curtsy, you 
may perhaps get a special salute all to yourself. On 
review days, when the Emperor and his sons ride 
along the Linden at the head of the flags, enthusiasm 
rises to boiling pitch, and the cheering almost drowns 
the bands. It used to be the ambition of Princess 
Victoria Luise, when she was a small girl, to ride at 
her father's side on these occasions, and she felt very 
envious of her brothers, who were allowed to do so. 



CHAPTER V 

UNTER DEN LINDEN (continued) 

JUST inside Brandenburg Gate, in Pariser Platz, is the 
French Embassy and the Guard's Casino. Passing up 
the Linden a little farther, we come to the Russian 
Embassy, where any member of the reigning family 
coming to Berlin usually puts up in preference to a 
hotel. The little Greek Catholic Chapel for the 
Russian colony is there too. Just round the corner, in 
the Wilhelm Strasse, is the British Embassy, a stately, 
old-fashioned building which often opens its hospitable 
doors to the English colony. Of course English resi- 
dents love to go there, for they feel that for a brief 
space they are on English ground. In the handsome 
ball-room there is a large portrait of the late Queen 
Victoria. 

The Wilhelm Strasse is the street of palaces and 
diplomacy. The Foreign Office, the Home Office, and 

3 2 




*'^' <!H 

'f*'*' ';?&/ ;i -H ' *'*" 

,t,:'lff . Wli;.:;* 

A f; ^' - T * V4E ."A- ' ^'*%' ' 



?l4^ '."* 

^ I if mi 



Unter den Linden 

the Imperial Chancellor's Palace are there. When 
Bismarck was Chancellor, the famous Congress of 
European Powers for the settling of the Eastern 
Question was held in the large hall of the Palace in 
1878. A great artist has painted the scene, and among 
the many statesmen who are easily recognized in the 
foreground is Benjamin Disraeli. The study of the 
Iron Chancellor, as Prince Bismarck was called, 
remains much the same as it was in his days. His 
favourite writing-table, very old and plain and 
bespattered with ink, may be seen, and near it one of 
newer pattern that was evidently little used. Princess 
Friedrich Leopold, the sister of the Empress, who is 
married to the brother of the Duchess of Connaught, 
and Prince August Wilhelm, the Emperor's fourth son, 
live in the Wilhelm Strasse during the season. 

Farther up, the Linden is crossed by the busy 
Friedrich Strasse said to be the longest street in 
Europe and forms the corner known to every Berlin 
child as the Kranzler-Ecke. Kranzlers is an old- 
established confectioner^, which has supplied the 
Imperial family with their cakes from time im- 
memorial. On the opposite side of the corner is 
Cafe Bauer, where every visitor goes to see the famous 
frescoes. Then we come to the fine statue of Frede- 
rick the Great. That famous monarch was a devoted 
friend to all animals, and he never wore spurs. Some- 
times a sculptor, ignorant of this fact or forgetting it, 
makes a statue of the King with spurs there is one 
in Potsdam Park and then, of course, he is much 
ridiculed by those who know. 

Near the statue is the Palace of the old Emperor, 

33 5 



Berlin 

with the historical corner window where he used to 
stand every day about noon to watch the chief guard 
pass. And all round the statue stood hundreds of 
people, daily, to see and salute the beloved Sovereign. 
I saw him there ten days before his death, smiling his 
kindly smile at us all. The Emperor William was 
very hard-working, and one day his doctor begged 
His Majesty to take a rest, saying he knew he must 
be tired. " I have no time to be tired/' was the 
Emperor's reply, and the words have now passed into 
a proverb. When the Emperor grew weaker, the physi- 
cian tried to deter him from standing at the window. 
" Oh no !" said His Majesty, smiling, " Baedeker says 
I am there at this hour, and the people expect it of me, 
so go I must." 

Another authentic anecdote is told of the Emperor 
and the historical window. One day a very distin- 
guished person was announced, and entered His 
Majesty's study. To the visitor's astonishment, the 
Emperor had his back turned to him and was looking 
out of the window, in which attitude he remained for 
several minutes. Then, turning round, he shook 
hands with the new-comer, saying, in his own simple, 
hearty manner : " Please forgive me for my rudeness, 
but there was an old peasant in the crowd holding up 
his little grandchild. He had probably come a long 
way to see his Kaiser, and I couldn't hurry away." 
Needless to relate, the distinguished person, after 
such an explanation, no longer felt himself slighted. 
This room has been left just as it was when the 
Emperor occupied it, and it is skpwn to visitors with 
the rest of the Palace. 

34 



Unter den Linden 

Over the road, on the south side of the Linden, is 
the Arsenal, full of interesting things, including fine 
descriptive pictures. Then comes the University, 
which is not much of a building to look at, but very 
famous, with over 6,000 students, among whom are 
now a good many women. You may see scores of 
students at almost any hour going in and out, many 
of them in gaily coloured caps and striped ribbons 
across their chests. These are " Corps " students, 
members of various orders, whose chief sport is the 
Mensur, or University duel. The Corps members are 
pledged, before being admitted, to fight a certain 
number of these duels each term. It requires a good 
deal of courage to stand up, sword in hand, and face 
another sword, for woe betide the man who flinches, 
or even blinks, when he receives a cut ! His prestige 
for all time depends upon his standing firm. It seems 
a strange sport to the English, and surely there are 
healthier sports that are quite as manly ; but most 
Germans say the Mensur steels the nerves and makes a 
man courageous. Certainly a student is always very 
proud of his wounds, the scars of which are often most 
unsightly, and generally remain with him all his life. 

Another strange custom of University students is 
the Kommers, which is really a beer-drinking party of 
great dimensions. The undergraduates, to celebrate 
some special occasion, meet in a large public hall, where 
long tables are covered with mugs of beer. There are 
speeches and songs of a patriotic and humorous kind, 
interspersed by toasts, and the waiters fill and refill 
the mugs as fast as they can. German students drink 
far more beer than is good for them ; but the Emperor 

35 



Berlin 

and Crown Prince are so opposed to the practice that 
it is gradually lessening. Students' songs are many 
of them very pretty, and are generally very well sung, 
while a great many of them, have been handed down 
from generation to generation. 

In Unter den Linden is the Crown Prince's town 
residence, which was formerly known as the Empress 
Frederick's Palace. You may see from the street a 
window that opens in the English fashion probably 
the only one in Berlin. That is a window in the late 
Empress's studio. Perhaps you do not know that the 
Empress Frederick was an admirable artist, but such 
was the case, and many of her pictures adorn the walls 
of her sons' and grandsons' Palaces. The Opera House 
is in Unter den Linden. It is a plain building and 
unworthy of Berlin ; but its successor, which is to be 
in the Tiergarten, will be one of the finest in the 
world. 

Opposite the Opera House is the chief Guard 
House, and behind it is a chestnut-grove, called the 
Kastanienwald. Here you will notice a rusty old 
cannon whose history is worth relating. It dates 
back to the reign of the Electors of Germany, whose 
property it was. Whenever one of the Margraves 
had a little war of his own on hand, which was rather 
frequent in those times, the cannon being the only 
one anywhere about was lent to him. The peasants, 
who had to drag the heavy machine over hill and dale, 
disliked it exceedingly, and gave it the name of " Lazy 
Gretchen." And " the lazy Gretchen " it is called 
to this day by the Berlin children, who climb up it 
when the policeman's back is turned. 

36 



Unter den Linden 

At the end of the Unter den Linden is the Emperor's 
Castle, the Schloss, an imposing building where, 
during the Berlin season, all the Court functions are 
held. The season is not, like the London season, in 
spring, but begins at the New Year and ends before 
March. The Schloss stands boldly out upon the street. 
There is no garden to speak of ; the only space that 
could be called by that name extends along the side of 
the river, which is the most ancient part of the build- 
ing. From this spot the Imperial children used to let 
down surreptitiously, for it was a dangerous pastime 
long fishing-lines, baited with anything they could 
obtain from the neighbouring kitchens, into the water. 
Their patience was seldom rewarded, for the fish were 
scarce at that place and very wary. 

The Schloss contains over 700 rooms altogether, 
including the beautiful White Hall, where the courts 
and balls are held, the Picture Gallery, and the Knights' 
Hall. There is a private theatre, and the Court 
Chapel is also under the same roof. Part of the build- 
ing is very old, and there is even a ghost in connection 
with it. This is a White Lady, who is said to appear 
shortly before the death of any member of the Hohen- 
zollern family. Anyone is allowed to go over the 
Schloss when their Majesties are out of town. It is 
an interesting experience, which has its humorous 
side. The floors of the rooms being all highly 
polished, walking boots would scratch them, and 
therefore all visitors are compelled to don huge felt 
slippers. It is great fun shuffling across the big rooms, 
and, of course, when the guide is not looking, everyone 
yields to a temptation to slide. 

37 



Berlin 

On fine days when their Majesties are in residence 
at the Schloss, they often drive to the pretty little 
Bellevue Palace in the Tiergarten, and take a walk in 
the gardens there. The Palace is now the residence, 
in the season,, of Prince Eitel Friedrich, the Emperor's 
second son. The Bellevue Palace plays an important 
part in the history of the reigning family of Prussia. 
Whenever a Crown Prince or Heir Presumptive is 
about to marry, his bride takes up her residence there 
a day or two beforehand, her mother usually accom- 
panying her. The day before the wedding she is 
fetched in State by the reigning Empress to the Schloss, 
where she is welcomed by her future husband and the 
Emperor. The Linden is gaily decorated, and the 
procession is very imposing, the Princess and the 
Empress riding in a glass coach drawn by six gorgeously 
caparisoned steeds. 

Near the Schloss so close, in fact, that grumblers 
declare only the Imperial family can see it properly 
is the National Monument to the first Emperor. It 
is a magnificent piece of work in bronze. The Em- 
peror is represented sitting on his favourite charger. 
A beautiful girl, holding a palm-branch in one hand, is 
leading the horse. Reinhold Begas, the sculptor, took 
his own daughter as the model for this figure. 

The front of the Schloss opens on to a vast square 
called the Lustgarten, on the opposite sides of which 
are the new Cathedral, the Old Museum, and the 
National Gallery. Here it is that a review of recruits 
is often held by the Emperor, and here on Sunday 
mornings after church-time a fine military band plays 
while the people promenade. When the Emperor's 

38 



Berlin Boys and Girls 

children were little, they were often seen at the Schloss 
windows, looking at the animated scene, and smiling 
down, to the delight of the loyal Berliners below. 



CHAPTER VI 
BERLIN BOYS AND GIRLS 

BOYS and girls in Germany have to work very hard 
indeed at school, as no doubt you know. The boys 
are, in this respect, worse off than the girls, and very 
little time is left over for games. The authorities, 
however, are gradually coming to a knowledge of the 
fact that all work and no play makes Hans a dull boy, 
and there is a marked tendency to give him more out- 
door exercise and curtail his school-hours. No doubt 
before long there will be a change for the better, but 
at present the Berlin schoolboy is rather to be pitied. 
He begins school, according to the law of the land, at 
the age of six, and leaves it usually about eighteen, 
although you often see lads of nineteen, or even twenty, 
in the first class, which is equivalent to the English 
sixth form ; these are slower of learning than the others, 
and, failing to pass the yearly examination once or 
twice, have had to go through the whole class again. 

No slate and pencil for the small fingers of the boy 
beginning his lessons, but business-like pen and ink, 
as his sailor blouses visibly prove. He commences 
right away to learn German and Latin printed letters, 
and German and Latin written characters a sufficient 
trial in itself and by the time he is twelve an average 
Berlin boy is learning Latin and Greek, French, and 

39 



Berlin 

German, for his own language is so difficult that it is 
years before he acquires it properly. He has to be at 
school at eight o'clock,, and lessons go on until one, or 
even two, o'clock; and often there are afternoon 
lessons too. When you remember that the home- 
work is so much and so difficult that the majority of 
boys have to have a master specially engaged to help 
them with it, you will readily understand that there 
is little time left for sports and games. The reason 
why so many Gei mans wear glasses is that their eyes 
have been overstrained by work when they were boys 
at school. German girls work hard too, but they are 
better off than the boys, in not having compulsory 
Latin ar^d Greek, unless, indeed, they attend a Gym- 
nasium or grammar-school, as is becoming more and 
more the case of late years. 

Berlin children, in spite of the hard work, generally 
love their school. Towards eight in the morning the 
streets are full of merry youngsters hastening along. 
They carry their books in a leather knapsack strapped 
tightly to their shoulders, and their lunch usually 
" black " bread sandwiches with some tasty kind of 
sausage in a small basket suspended from the neck 
by a leather strap. When they arrive at the age of 
fourteen or thereabouts this mode is considered baby- 
ish, and the books are carried id a professional-looking 
leather case under the arm, and the sandwich is tucked 
away in a corner out of sight. There is a break of ten 
or fifteen minutes every hour in all Berlin schools, and 
an interval of fifteen minutes for lunch. During each 
interval the pupils must leave the class-room, either 
to walk in the passages or run about in the playground, 

40 



Berlin Boys and Girls 

according to weather, so that the rooms can be well 
aired in the meantime. 

A pleasant feature of Berlin schools of all sorts is 
the excursion often made by the various classes with 
their respective teachers. There is generally an object- 
lesson in connection with the outing. Thus in summer 
a class of some thirty children will be taken to the Zoo, 
where the animals and their habits are explained to 
them, or an excursion is made in an abnormally big 
covered waggonette, known as a Kremse, to the sur- 
rounding woods, where games are played. In winter 
sometimes the children are taken to the museums and 
art-galleries, where there is, of course, plenty to learn 
about all sorts of useful things. The authorities are 
always eager to promote juvenile education in any 
form, and schools can generally obtain free admission, 
with a teacher in charge, to any exhibition that may 
be going on. 

Berlin school-children do not have such long holidays 
as English children. The summer vacation begins 
early in July, and lasts five weeks, and there is a 
fortnight at Easter and Christmas, and about ten days 
at Michaelmas. But there are all kinds of fete-days 
that are eagerly looked forward to as breaks in the 
studies. On Review Day in spring and autumn the 
schools are closed by the Emperor's orders, in order 
that the children may go to see the display. Ascension 
Day is kept as a holiday, and Reformation Day too. 
Then there is Busstag a day originally set apart 
annually for prayer and penance, but now passed 
cheerfully by everyone. This holiday always falls on 
the middle Wednesday between Easter and Whitsun- 

41 6 



Berlin 

tide, so it is a capital day for excursions into the 
country. The Emperor's birthday is a holiday, as a 
matter of course, and is always very gay. 

The German schoolgirl of about fourteen is termed 

for no obvious reason a Backfisch. The word implies 

a baked fish, but I have never been able to trace its 

application to the German " flapper," Yet there it is, 

and it must be accepted seriously, for Backfisch hats 

and jackets and dresses have their special departments 

in all the millinery and dressmaking establishments and 

in the illustrated catalogues. When the Backfisch 

attains the age of sixteen she is confirmed, and becomes 

a young lady. This is the first important step in her 

life. Confirmation here is not merely the religious rite 

that it is in England : it is an event of vast moment 

to the confirmee, for he or she is afterwards no longer 

addressed by the familiar and childish Du> but by 

the respectful Sie> just the same as grown-ups. 

The girls are prepared by a clergyman for some time 
beforehand ; they attend regular classes at his house, 
and the same pastor who has instructed them performs 
the ceremony of confirmation, there being no bishops 
in the Lutheran Church. They go to church clad 
in sombre black, the skirt generally reaching to the 
ground, and wearing no hat or veil. The well-to-do 
ones drive, but the rest walk, and, as the Confirmations 
are held in early spring, the girls sometimes look very 
cold ; for a jacket or wrap of any kind is taboo, as it 
would spoil the effect. A quaint custom demands 
that every article of clothing worn by either a girl or 
boy at Confirmation must be quite new for the occa- 
sion.' The boys wear black also, and long trousers 

42 



Berlin Boys and Girls 

usually for the first time with a myrtle-twig in their 
button-hole. Every boy and girl carries a large hymn- 
book new, of course, like the rest and the girls carry 
a bouquet of white flowers as well. 

Confirmation Day in the home of well-to-do families 
is a great festival ; a birthday festive as German birth- 
days are is nothing in comparison. The girls receive 
costly gifts of jewellery from parents and relatives, 
and books, bon-bons, and other presents from their 
friends. They hold quite a levee in their homes all 
day long, and everyone who comes to congratulate 
brings a beautiful bunch of flowers, so that soon the 
rooms look like conservatories. The boys generally 
have their first watch and chain on Confirmation Day, 
to say nothing of other long-coveted gifts. 

Berlin girls are very well educated. They speak 
French and English, as a rule, excellently, and often 
Italian too, and they have a sound knowledge of 
literature and mathematics. The German authorities 
are very strict. All schools are subject to Govern- 
ment inspection, and nobody is allowed to instruct 
in any branch without having passed the teachers 3 
examination, which is very stiff. 

After Confirmation a girl generally leaves school, and 
is then sent to a pension, or finishing school, in Switzer- 
land, France, or England, for a year or so. Then she 
returns home, and is considered out, a ball being fre- 
quently given to launch her into society. Of late 
years and especially in Berlin a good many girls* 
go in for the higher women's educational career, and 
study at a seminary, or matriculate and go to the 
University. There they pass their various examina- 

43 



Berlin 

tions, and not unfrequently take their degree, when 
they are exalted above their ordinary girl-friends by 
obtaining the title of " Fraulein Doctor." Cooking- 
classes and housekeeping courses are nearly always 
attended by a German girl after she has left school, for, 
no matter how high a station she will take in life, she 
is supposed to have a practical knowledge of both these 
branches, or her education is not considered complete. 
The idea, however, that German ladies pass their 
time in the kitchen after they are married, and have 
no other interests but domestic ones, is, of course, too 
absurd to need refuting. 

Many German girls though, happily, not all look 

upon matrimony as the chief aim of existence, and 

many marry very young. Some of them begin at the 

Backfisch period to prepare for the important state 

by setting up a Hamsterkasten. Kasten is German 

for box, but what Hamster signifies in this connection 

nobody knows. The store-box contains everything in 

the way of fancy-work and knick-knacks that a girl can 

make or collect. German girls are particularly skilful 

with their needles and very fond of fancy-work ; so you 

may imagine how the Hamsterkasten swells by the 

time its owner has found a suitable Brautigam. A 

betrothal in Germany is a ceremonious and binding 

affair. Printed notices are sent out by the future 

bridegroom and the parents of the bride in sfie ; all 

the friends -and relations call to congratulate, armed 

with the customary bouquet, and there is generally 

a grand party to celebrate the event. The gentleman 

visits his fiancee every day, and, as a rule, only dances 

with her at a ball, while she is equally exclusive. The 

44 



Berlin Boys and Girls 

engagement is of short duration, which is a happy 
dispensation for all parties. Very often a German 
marriage is a business arrangement, for Government 
positions are not well paid, and the officers have ex- 
tremely slender salaries, so in such cases a substantial 
dot is considered of first importance. The Germans, 
being thrifty, a girl of even the poorer classes will have 
her marriage portion, and it falls to her lot to furnish 
the home a custom that seems strange to English 
girls. All that the bridegroom has to do is to keep 
things going afterwards. 

German brothers and sisters are very affectionate 
towards each other. A big schoolboy will play with 
the little ones very nicely, and take a small brother's 
or sister's hand along the street. He will kiss his 
father and mother and sisters, as a matter of course, 
however public the place, if he has not seen them 
for any length of time. He is never ashamed of 
showing his love for them. Little girls make a curtsy 
when greeted by grown-up people, and well-bred boys 
always kiss a lady's hand. 

Birthdays play an important part in a German 
child's life, and he or she always provides a " wishing- 
list " to aid the selection of gifts by generously disposed 
relatives. The " birthday-child " which is the name 
he goes by until ever so old finds his table ready for 
him when he gets up, everything having been pre- 
pared by loving hands overnight. The Torte has the 
place of honour. It is a big round cake, flat, and most 
delicious, with the owner's name in chocolate or sugar 
letters. Sometimes candles are lighted round the cake, 
as many candles as the birthday-child has years, with 

45 



Berlin 

one big one in the middle which is called the candle 
of life. All these lights must burn themselves out, 
and never be extinguished, or it is considered most 
unlucky. The table is covered with a white cloth, 
and the presents are laid all about and around, with 
plenty of flowers in vases and growing in pots. All day 
long friends are coming in, bringing more flowers and 
presents, and everyone must eat a slice of the Torte 
and drink to the health of the hero or heroine. The 
day usually ends with a merry party, with games and 
the inevitable tombola, or a dance, according to the age 
and taste of the birthday-child. 

It has of late years become the fashion to have 
English nurses for small Berlin children, and in the 
Tiergarten you hear a great deal of English. Some 
people take French or Swiss nurses for their children, 
but the Spreewald nurses are the most popular of all. 
The Spreewald is an interesting and very romantic 
district some sixty miles from Berlin, where about 
two hundred arms of the River Spree intersect the 
wooded marshy land for thirty miles. It is a miniature 
Venice. You traverse the whole district in boats, and 
it is a very pretty trip indeed. The inhabitants, who 
live in log-houses, axe a Wendish race, and talk a funny 
sort of dialect, unintelligible to Germans. 

The girls and women wear a very quaint and pic- 
turesque costume. A scarlet skirt, remarkably short, 
and standing out like a crinoline above its myriads of 
petticoats, a big white-lace apron, and a flowered 
fichu which is folded across a short-sleeved bodice 
of black velvet. The head-dress is a most wonderful 
arrangement. It is composed of white, or sometimes 



Amusements and Sports 

flowered print to match, the fichu, very stiff, and 
folded deftly to project nearly half a yard on either 
side of the head. The girls are very healthy, and make 
capital nurses ; the babies under their care always look 
particularly bonny and well groomed. 

CHAPTER VII 

AMUSEMENTS AND SPORTS 

WHEN I was young there used to be a riddle perhaps 
it is in existence still " Why is Berlin the liveliest city 
in the world ?" The answer is : " Because it is always 
on the Spree." The riddle is not quite accurate ; the 
name of the river is not pronounced " spree," but 
" spray," and the Prussian capital is, of course, not to 
be compared with Paris, for instance, in gaiety. 
Nevertheless, Berlin provides plenty of amusement 
for both visitors and residents. The theatres are fine, 
and the acting at many of them is perfectly splendid. 
The theatre managers never go in for the star system 
that is, engage one great artist for the chief role and 
trouble little about the rest. They employ excellent 
all-round casts, even the smallest part being well 
rendered, as a rule, while the acting is as true to life 
as art can make it. No German actress minds sacri- 
ficing her appearance and making herself quite old 
and ugly, if the role she is to play demands it. 

Shakespeare is admirably translated and magnifi- 
cently acted. The Germans love Shakespeare, and 
his plays, it is said, are more frequently performed 
here than in England. The Emperor has Shakespeare 

47 



Berlin 

performances put on very often at the royjal theatres, 

and frequently attends them himself. The great 

English dramatist's famous words, " Plays are as 

mirrors, in which we see how bad we are, how good we 

ought to be/' appeal to the German school authorities, 

who look upon the theatre as an educational factor. 

There are, every winter in Berlin, special performances 

of classical plays for school-children, given at good 

theatres. They are in the afternoon ; the prices are 

very low; and there is never an empty seat in the house. 

Thus children become pleasantly familiar with Schiller 

and Shakespeare, and other great dramatists, and have 

their special favourites in the classics at a very early 

age. Pantomimes, as they are known in London, are 

not given in Berlin, the Germans only calling wordless 

plays by the name of pantomime. But there are 

delightful fairy-plays during the Christmas holidays, 

of which you will read more in another chapter. Of 

late years the cinematographic theatres have become 

immensely popular, and many of the films are really 

capital lessons in natural history and geography. 

Germany is the home of music, and Berlin is the 
acknowledged centre of it. If German children are 
really talented, they begin to study at a very early 
age ; but, as a rule, their parents are too sensible, and 
too good judges of music themselves, to allow them 
to learn any instrument for which they have neither 
talent nor inclination. This is a great blessing for 
the children, while other people are spared the inflic- 
tion of listening to poor attempts. Haweis says, in his 
book called " Music and Morals " : " In Germany 
people never pretend to play, and if they know nothing 




'OTSDAM, FISH MARKET. 



Amusements and Sports 

about it, they can afford to be silent." This is 
especially the case in Berlin. The music-schools are 
famous all the world over, and boys and girls come 
from every part to study. The concerts form a liberal 
education of themselves. Their moderate prices bring 
the best that can be offered within the reach of all. 
At most of them you hear English all round you 
in the intervals, and this is particularly noticeable at 
the " Pops " in the big Philharmonic Hall, with its 
superb orchestra. At the cheap popular concerts you 
can, if you like, have supper while the music is going 
on. Most people do this : a family, or party of friends, 
taking up a table for themselves. The waiters go about 
on tiptoe, the clatter of knives and forks is hushed, 
and no one is disturbed. A good meal is enjoyed, and 
a Wagner Overture or Strauss Symphony at the same 
time ; it is all a matter of education or custom. 

The Germans are extremely fond of dancing. 
Children learn to dance when they are very young, 
and the weekly Tanzstunde is eagerly looked forward 
to by both boys and girls. Berlin people are never 
too old for this amusement. The papas and mammas 
will dance with each other, and with elderly friends^ 
at a ball with as much animation as their children, and 
a tall son will beg for a polka with his mother, and 
Papachen will invite his fair-haired young daughter to 
waltz with him quite as a usual thing. Fancy-dress 
balls are very general among all classes, both public 
and private ones, and there are special shops for hiring 
costumes, which do a big trade in Carnival time. The 
Maskenbdlle are usually given on Saturday ; and you 
may often meet, on foot or in the tram, late in the 

49 7 



Berlin 

evening, a knight in glittering armour, or a bare-legged 
Tyrolese, or a Mary Queen of Scots, and on closer 
inspection you will very likely recognize the young 
men from the little grocer's shop round the corner and 
your neighbour's cook. You may be sure they will 
dance all night, and go straight to work in the morning, 
after exchanging their armour, etc., for everyday attire. 
Germans are such indefatigable dancers that it has 
been computed an average dancer at a ball of seven 
hours' duration covers twenty-eight miles. 

Sport has received a great impetus of late years in 
Berlin. The Germans were always splendid gymnasts, 
for gymnastics have ever been an important feature 
in schools, and later on boys and girls, and grown-up 
people too, go in largely for them, in the big, well-fitted 
halls that every district possesses for the purpose. 
Then the cold of a Berlin winter affords such fine 
opportunities for skating that there is hardly a boy or 
girl who does not excel in that sport. And what 
splendid fun it is ! Whatever has been in summer a 
tennis-court or a beer-garden is transformed into a 
capital skating-ground in the winter, and has the 
advantage of being so safe that fond mammas need 
never be anxious, for you couldn't drown in an ice- 
covered garden if you tried. 

The proprietor of the gardens floods them every 
night with a huge hose, doing it very carefully, so that 
the ice may freeze evenly, and in the morning there 
is a beautiful sheet, looking like glass. When large 
enough, there is a band and refreshment-tent, and in 
the evening the grounds are lighted up with gay Chinese 
lanterns and electric lamps. They are always crowded 

50 



Amusements and Sports 

with, a merry throng of young and old, or, at least, 
elderly folks. Then there are plenty of artificial lakes 
and rivers in the parks and the outskirts of Berlin, and 
when it is very cold the River Havel is frozen, with all 
its large and beautiful lakes. There is glorious sport 
then, and you may skate, if you like, all the way from 
Potsdam to Brandenburg, a distance of more than forty 
miles. Several enormous skating-rinks of artificial ice 
have lately sprung up in Berlin, which are always full 
of people keeping themselves in practice. 

A great many Berlin boys and girls cycle to school, 
and there are innumerable cycling-clubs, the members 
of which make long tours together. Tennis is now 
usual everywhere, having long superseded the once so 
popular croquet. The courts are always gravelled, 
which has the advantage over grass of never being 
damp, and they are kept rolled as smoothly as a 
billiard-table by the people who let them. You may 
often see as many as thirty sets going on together on 
one ground. Football is played a good deal, as well as 
hockey ; ice-hockey is a very favourite game. Polo, 
not very long ago unknown, is now played with much 
ardour by the officers, a club having been founded by 
the Crown Prince, who is very fond of the game. 
Cricket is, strange to say, never played in Berlin, and 
golf but little. 

Berlin boys and girls are capital swimmers. There 
are plenty of fine swimming-baths belonging to the 
various municipalities. They are kept scrupulously 
clean, and the admission-fee is very low, and so is the 
cost of instruction, which is given by an excellent 
teacher all day long. Children learn to swim at a 

5 1 



Berlin 

very early age. I Lave seen tiny dots, who could hardly 
run, swim like frogs. The Emperor's enthusiasm for 
everything aquatic is well known. His Majesty would 
like to introduce a University race here, like the Oxford 
and Cambridge boat-race, and he always makes a point 
of attending the regatta of the Berlin rowing-clubs, 
on the Upper Spree, in August. Most of the boys 3 
big schools have their rowing-clubs now, either on the 
Spree or the beautiful Wannsee Lake, and sailing on the 
large lakes round Berlin is very general. 

Of late years mixed bathing has been permitted in a 

secluded part of the Wannsee Lake beach. It is a 

tremendous success. Thousands of families who have 

never seen the sea, and probably never will, enjoy 

themselves in the sunshine, paddling and splashing 

about in the tiny waves. Swimmers can, of course, 

have a splendid time, and small children are safe and 

happy on the smooth sands of the gradually sloping 

beach. Use of the dressing-rooms costs a penny, but 

many families improvise a tent with rugs and sticks in 

the bushes, which is cheaper and more fun. The city 

provides people to see that order is kept, but there is 

never any need to interfere ; the bathers are too happy 

to get rowdy. Sunday is the day when the Familien- 

bad is the most frequented, and a continuous service 

of extra trains and motor omnibuses can scarcely 

convey the crowds to and from the city on a hot day. 

Riding is far less general in Berlin than in London. 

Germans, excepting the cavalry officers, are poor 

horsemen on the whole, and there are very few ladies 

who ride really well. Early in the morning is the 

favourite time for riding in the Tiergarten. By the 

5* 



Amusements and Sports 

Emperor's orders a military band plays there now, to 
add to the rider's pleasure. Ballooning has become 
a fashionable sport, and here, as elsewhere, the very 
latest sport is flying. The aviation ground at Johan- 
nisthal, near Berlin, always presents a busy scene 
air-men coming and going, giving their mechanics 
instructions, ascending on their various aeroplanes, 
and sometimes, unhappily, coming a cropper. There 
are often as many as five or six in the air at once. The 
Johannisthal ground, which is 750 acres in extent, is 
one of the best arranged aviation fields in the world. 
The Emperor's brother, Prince Heinrich, is an ardent 
aviator, and gained his pilot's certificate in an un- 
usually short time. 

As to the huge airships, they have become quite a 
common sight. One or more may be seen most days in 
spring and summer passing over the Berlin streets, 
sometimes so low that you can almost count the people 
in the cars. These majestic dirigibles still arouse a 
good deal of enthusiasm, and it is the height of every 
Berlin schoolboy's ambition to go for a sail in one 
whether in a Zeppelin, Parseval, Siemens, or military, 
is all the same to him. 



CHAPTER VIII 
SOME TRADITIONAL CUSTOMS 

BERLIN, like most other great cities, has all kinds of 
customs peculiar to itself, some of which are very 
quaint and curious. On certain days in the week, 
usually towards evening, you will notice a chair, tied 

53 



Berlin 

round with a large white apron, standing before the 
door of a butcher's shop, or hung up on the wall. 
This tells all passers-by that friscbe Wurst a kind 
of hot sausage, something like English " black pudding " 
is to be had there at that particular time. The 
butcher who introduced this delicacy to the Berlin 
public many years ago, used to stand at his door in his 
big white apron, and smilingly invite people to step in 
and try it. He soon became a familiar figure in con- 
nection with frische Wurst nights, and after he was 
dead, his wife, with an eye to business, hit upon the 
original idea of dressing up a kitchen-chair in her hus- 
band's apron, and standing it before the door, in order 
that customers might not miss their wonted sausage. 

At Whitsuntide it is a pretty custom, and a very old 

one, to decorate everything lavishly with branches of 

young birch-trees, the delicate green leaves of which 

lend themselves charmingly to decoration purposes. 

The Berliners call this young greenery Maien, no 

doubt because Whitsuntide often falls in the month 

of May, or Mai, and the birch is one of the earliest 

trees to become green. Carts laden with the branches 

are seen at all the corners of the streets on the Saturday 

before Whitsuntide. You can buy a bunch of the 

graceful twigs for a penny, and almost a whole tree for 

a few marks. No Berlin householder would dream of 

not having some Maien in every room, and the maid 

puts some in a vase in the kitchen for luck. At the 

shop-doors stand great bushes of birch in buckets of 

water, and all the drivers trim their horses with it. 

The effect is very pretty, and makes you feel quite 

festive. 

54 



Some Traditional Customs 

Some of the Berlin shops have queer signs over their 
doors. The hairdresser displays a round brass plate 
or two, like a saucepan-lid, and butter-shops are easily 
recognized at a distance by a gilt ball. Wherever 
coals are sold and many thousands of compressed 
coal-cakes will go tidily into a comparatively small 
shop there is a sign of two hatchets crossed. 

A very quaint and practical custom is one practised 
by the fish-wives at the Potsdam market. To prevent 
their feet from getting wet and to keep themselves com- 
fortable generally, they sit in wooden open boxes, 
which contain a miniature charcoal stove, similar to 
those used in the tramcars in winter. Their living 
wares perch and eels and carp, mostly swim about in 
shallow tubs in front of them, and can be easily netted 
and weighed without the old woman they are nearly 
all old getting out of her snug pen. In summer the 
charcoal stove is not lighted, but the box is occupied 
just the same. 

In the restaurants much of the beer is served in 
picturesque mugs of grey or blue stone, with pewter 
lids. They keep the contents very cool in summer, 
but, if you don't want a second filling, be sure you 
close the lid. If it is left open for a moment the waiter 
whisks it off and brings a fresh supply. This is an 
unwritten, and by no means unpopular, law of German 
beer-gardens. 

There are certain days of the year when the thorough- 
going Berliner feels himself constrained to partake of 
certain dishes. Thus, on New Year's Eve, the 
standard supper, from the Imperial table downwards, 
is carp stewed in beer, with all sorts of spices, and a 

55 



Berlin 

coarse kind of honey-cake. This is a very dainty dish, 
much nicer than you would at first think. The 
national sweet on New Year's Eve is Mohnpiel, a 
mixture of crushed poppy-seeds soaked in milk, to 
which are added bread-crumbs and currants. Later 
in the evening hot punch and dough-nuts are the 
correct thing for everyone, and these must also be 
consumed in great quantities on Pastnacht, or Shrove 
Tuesday evening, 

In the good, old-fashioned Berlin restaurants you 
will always find a special dish in Thursday's bill of fare. 
It consists of boiled beef, with pease-pudding and 
Sauerkraut, and, though this does not commend itself 
generally to British visitors, it is a very popular German 
dish. 

One of the most interesting and brilliant of all 
traditional customs is the Fete of the Orders, held 
every year at the Imperial Castle. It is a banquet 
given by their Majesties to all the holders of State 
decorations, without any regard to rank or standing. 
There are always several thousand guests, and the 
White Hall and the ad'acent apartments are crowded. 
This democratic festival dates from the time ol 
Frederick the Great. A Prince, with the diamond 
star of a distinguished Order on his coat, may perhaps 
sit next to his own groom, or to a worthy postman, 
with the humble, though honourable, medal of the 
Allgemeine Ehrenzeichen the lowest decoration. 

A deputation of the guests of various rank is always 
chosen to sit at the Emperor's own table, and the 
remainder are spread about at large tables. The 
menu-cards are the same as on other State occasions, 

56 



Some Traditional Customs 

and the viands are equally good, so you may imagine 
Low this feast is anticipated and appreciated. Perhaps 
the most fascinating feature of this wonderful banquet 
is the permission accorded to take home some of the 
dessert. The footmen have paper-bags all ready at 
hand for each guest, and there is as eager a rush to 
fill them as a due sense of the surroundings permits. 

Once a worthy citizen of the small bourgeoisie had 
filled his bag to overflowing, no doubt thinking all the 
time how happy he would make the wife and young- 
sters at home with goodies from the Emperor's own 
table. It is possible that the unwonted potions from 
the Imperial cellarage were a little too much for the 
worthy citizen, but how it all happened nobody ever 
knew. Suddenly there was a slip ; the bag burst, and 
its toothsome contents were rolling in all directions 
over the polished floor, while its owner nearly wept 
with shame and confusion. Up sprang the Crown 
Prince, and, in his own pleasant manner, set the dis- 
concerted guest at his ease with some laughing remark. 
Then, scrambling after the scattered goodies, he soon 
collected them with the younger Princes' assistance, 
and put them into a new bag, which he handed to the 
now proud and happy citizen. 

The illuminations on the Emperor's birthday have 
been an institution ever since anyone can remember. 
They are magnificent ; the whole city seems ablaze. 
His Majesty's birthday falling in January, the illu- 
minations begin early, so that even small children can 
be taken to see them. Unter den Linden is the most 
brilliant part, and the middle promenade is so crowded 
that you can only go at a snail's pace, so you can admire 

57 8 



Berlin 

everything at leisure. The hotels put up gigaatic 
" W's," with arrangements of wreaths and crowns 
and mottoes, all of which are formed of coloured 
electric lamps. On the roof of the Schloss, on Bran- 
denburg Gate, and other buildings, Greek fires are 
burnt, and a very general mode of illumination is the 
placing of rows of white candles between the double 
panes in every window. The effect, in the case of 
hotels and other lofty houses, is remarkably fine. 



CHAPTER IX 
BERLIN SHOPS 

ALTHOUGH Berlin, as a whole, cannot compare with 
London and Paris in the matter of fashion, it has of 
late years acquired finer shops of the store-department 
kind to use an American expression than any other 
city in Europe. In the busy Leipziger Strasse there 
are several of these big buildings, the king of them all 
Sa which employs 5,000 assistants, who 



have^Seir own refreshment- and lounge-rooms and a 
roof-garden. Foreign visitors and country cousins 
sometimes spend a whole day there. You can leave 
your wraps in the cloak-room, and you soon feel quite 
at home. There is a winter garden, with tall palms 
and a wealth of exquisite flowers, a miniature waterfall, 
and stream with goldfish, and real singing-birds 
warbling in the branches. There is a summer garden, 
and a marble hall where one can rest, and, of course, 
a first-class restaurant, and an extra tea-room for the 
now fashionable " fife o'clock." 



Berlin Shops 

Tke toy-department is a fairy region for children, 
just as other parts are for their elders. Every descrip- 
tion of article can be bought., and everything is so 
temptingly laid out that it is said a million marks' 
worth of things are stolen annually. The entire 
building, the work of the most famous architect in all 
Germany, is one of _the handsomest, in Berlin, and 
covers an enormous area. 

Berlin possesses the most beautiful flower-shops 
anyone can imagine, and a very large number of them. 
Flowers play an important part in German social life, 
and few people owning gardens or conservatories, the 
majority are dependent on the florist. When Berlin 
people go to the station to meet a relative returning 
home, or a friend coming on a visit, they take flowers 
with them as a welcoming greeting. The same custom 
prevails when you leave. All the friends who come 
to see you off put lovely blossoms into your hands, and 
if by the time you reach your destination they are 
faded, they have fulfilled their mission by filling your 
carriage with sweet fragrance the whole way. Besides 
the presents of flowers on birthdays and Confirmation 
days, it is quite the correct thing for a gentleman paying 
a visit to take a bouquet to the lady of the house a 
custom which is often a strain on a limited purse. 

The Germans are very faithful to the memory of 
their dead. The cemeteries are most beautifully kept ; 
the graves are like little gardens. The relatives pay 
regular visits, to plant, and weed, and water, and 
beneath the trees there is generally a tiny bench where 
the mourners may sit and meditate. On Sundays the 
cemeteries are crowded, and the little benches are 

59 



Berlin 

all occupied. Children, in their best frocks, are taken 
to put flowers on the grave of some loved one who has 
gone from the family circle. Nobody is sad or morbid ; 
it is rather a pleasant outing to the Berlin people. 

The Roman Catholics have their All Souls 5 Day, 
when candles are lighted on the graves, and the 
Lutherans have their equivalent in Totensontag, the 
Sunday of the Dead, which also falls in the month of 
November. The florists do an enormous trade on that 
day. From early morning till late in the afternoon 
the Berlin people, rich and poor, journey out to the 
cemeteries, by carriage, tramcar, or taxi-cab, carrying 
wreaths of holly or ivy of huge dimensions, or beautiful 
flowers and palms, if such an outlay can be afforded. 
No weather, however bad, deters them from paying 
what they consider a rightful tribute to the departed. 

There are more cigar-shops in Berlin than almost 
any other kind of shop, and they are always at street 
corners, so that they may be seen better. Germans 
are inordinate smokers, and cigars are very cheap, 
because they are made on a large scale and the tobacco is 
grown in the country. You rarely see a working-man 
with a pipe, but seldom no matter what he is doing 
without a cigar, of which he can buy five for a penny. 
Of course, there are better and more expensive kinds 
to be had ; the imported ones are heavily taxed. 

German cakes are delicious, and the Berlin con- 
fectioners' shops are a source of delight to the juveniles. 
Grown-up Germans have the proverbial sweet tooth, 
too, and you may often see a whole family at afternoon 
coffee which takes the place of English tea thor- 
oughly enjoying themselves in the midst of a mountain 

60 



Berlin Shops 

of cakes of all descriptions. Sunday is the great day, 
because then Pa-pachen is present, and he has generally 
broader ideas regarding the children's capabilities than 
Mutti. The girls are in their best white frocks, the 
boys in clean sailor suits ; all are on their best behaviour, 
for it is often the great family event of the week. The 
chief beverage is rich chocolate with plenty of Schlag- 
sahne (whipped cream) in it, and it is accompanied 
by a slice of Torte, or apple-tart, with more Schlag- 
sahne ; or, if it happens to be the season, a strawberry 
tartlet. The parents will take coffee, with whipped 
cream in that ; in fact, it seems astonishing at first 
how much whipped cream a German can conveniently 
dispose of. When you have been in Berlin a little 
while, however, you wonder no longer, you like it so 
much yourself. 

The Berlin shop-windows are arranged with great 
taste, many of the large establishments engaging lady- 
artists to undertake the decoration and setting, whereby 
a new vocation has been opened up for women- workers. 
Just as there are balcony competitions, so there are 
sometimes competitions for window-dressing, every- 
thing being done with the laudable desire to improve 
the appearance of the city. 

CHAPTER X 
THE LUNGS OF THE CITY 

BERLIN is rich in beautiful parks^ but the loveliest of 
them all is the Tiergartgui. which is in the West and 
easy of access from all parts. You may fancy yourself 

61 



Berlin 

in a deep forest in places, while in others there are 
long vistas of green wooded meadows and lakes, and 
shady, winding paths of indescribable beauty. Plenty 
of rowing-boats are to be had on the New Lake, and 
here children can row in perfect safety, in delightful 
backwaters and round the little islands where the wild 
ducks build. These tiny islands are very tempting, 
but it is strictly forbidden to explore them. Every- 
where Nature is luxurious, and the grass and masses of 
flowers and flowering shrubs receive the greatest care. 
There are benches in abundance, and many big 
playgrounds in specially pretty spots for children, so 
that they can enjoy themselves at will without dis- 
turbing or being disturbed by their elders. The prin- 
cipal sport of the tiny ones is digging in the hills of 
sand put there for the purpose. Bigger children have 
games of all kinds, or the more studiously inclined take 
books with them and read in a quiet corner. Fresh 
milk is sold all day long at little kiosks, while nurses 
bring sandwiches and rolls with them. 

The Tiergarten is full of singing-birds. Berlin 
people are very fond of them ; everything is done for 
their comfort, and woe betide the boy that goes bird's- 
nesting ! Wooden shelters covered with greenery are 
jibuilt among the bushes, where in. winter the ground 
%eneath is regularly strewn with corn and seeds and 
lother bird-delicacies. The feathered folk appreciate 
Jthis kindness, and sing their sweetest all the summer 
in return. 

March 10 is a great anniversary. It is the birth- 
day of good Queen Luise, whom all Prussians love 
and revere, and whose memory is indeed kept green. 

62 



The Lungs of the City 

Queen Luise was the wife of King Friedrich Wil- 
helm III., and the mother of the Emperor William I. 
Her life was short and full of trouble, but her 
character was very noble and sweet. When the war 
with Napoleon devastated the country, the Queen sold 
all her beautiful jewels to help her Fatherland. She 
had to flee with her children, and underwent great 
privations, once having to sleep in winter in a tumble- 
down hut, where she caught the cold that laid the 
foundation of her last illness. On the wayside one 
summer's day her children gathered cornflowers, and 
decorated their beloved young mother with them, in the 
place of the jewels she used to wear ; and they were all 
so happy together in spite of their troubles that the 
Emperor William never forgot that day. All his life 
the cornflower was his favourite flower, and the present 
Emperor loves it, too. 

What most of all endeared the Queen to her people 
was the effort she made to stay the war. She travelled 
to Konigsberg to see Napoleon, and implored him to 
spare her country. What a humiliation for a Queen ! 
He declared that women should not interfere in politics, 
and, of course, her mission remained unrequited. The 
womanly gentleness of the fair young Queen never- 
theless made a great impression upon the Emperor, 
and he gave her a rose, to which he likened her an 
unusual bit of sentiment in the great Napoleon. 

The space around Queen Luise's statue in the 
Tiergarten is transformed on every March 10 into a 
garden of lojeliest flowers, all of which are brought 
from the Imperial conservatories for the day. There 
is a background of magnolia, almond, lilac, and " snow- 

63 



Berlin 

ball " trees, all in full blossom, and there is a carpet of 
hyacinths and other spring flowers that fill the air with 
fragrance. Strange to say, it is nearly always beautiful 
weather for the good Queen's birthday, which is lucky 
for the delicate blossoms. Everyone who can possibly 
make time goes to the Tiergarten. Early in the 
morning come their Majesties from Potsdam, accom- 
panied by their daughter, who is named after her 
gentle ancestress. A second automobile brings the 
Crown Princess with her little sons and their nurses. 
Whole schools arrive with their respective teachers. 
Everyone stands and admires the beautiful white 
marble statue in its bed of flowers. The statue of 
the Queen's husband is a short distance off. It, too, 
has some flowers, lest it might seem slighted, but it is 
by no means the centre of attraction. 

One of the most charming features of the Tiergarten 
is the Rosariujxi?^tb^J^ose Garden recently made by 

~*^, ,,*-*-- . ^^fl^MMWMBttW^s^i^MR^ I V 

order of the Empress. It contains every kind of rose 
you could name, from the common, sweet-scented 
cabbage-rose to the regal La France and the exquisite 
waxHke Madame DruschkL It is a delight to sit there 
in the early morning and read. Being very quiet for. 
children are not allowed to enter alone students often 
go there with their books. In the middle of the garden 
the Emperor has had a statue of the Empress erected, 
a copy of the one he has in his private gardens at 
Potsdam. Before the roses come into bloom, in order 
that the garden shall not be bare of flowers, the beds 
are planted with innumerable azaleas and rhododen- 
drons in full blossom, and the effect is quite lovely. 
One of the broadest and finest avenues in the Tier- 



The Lungs of the City 

garten is the Sieges Alleefaz Avenue of Victory. It 
takes its name from the lofty monument at one end, 
called the Siegessaule. Among the many emblems 
that adorn the column are three rows of cannons, 
taken in different wars : one row from Denmark, one 
from Austria, and one from France sixty cannons 
altogether. They are so high up that they look quite 
small, and they are now gilded, like the big angel at 
the top, who looks very imposing in her wings and 
flowing robes. A fine view may be had from the top 
of the monument, which repays you for mounting to 
the height of two hundred feet. 

Along each side of the Avenue are white marble 
groups of Prussian rulers and their statesmen three in 
every group. They are the gift of the Emperor to 
the, city, and are the work of Berlin sculptors exclu- 
sively. They make a fine impression with the back- 
ground of green trees, and lovely beds of flowers in 
front, although they are not all great works of art. 

The Tiergarten has such splendid opportunities, 
with its broad roads and shady riding-tracks, that it is 
a pity there is not a rendezvous for carriages as in 
Hyde Park. There have been many attempts at 
various times to organize this, and the Imperial family 
have given their assistance, but after a few endeavours 
the cor so has always died a natural death. Berliners 
are more artistic and hard-working than fashionable, 
and though there are plenty of wealthy people, they 
don't understand making, a display, like the people of 
Paris and London. Perhaps a Rotten Row will come 
in time. 

In the centre of the Tiergarten is the Palace of 

65 9 



Berlin 

Bellevue, already mentioned. In spring the little 

park belonging to it is a mass of lilac, and attracts 

hundreds of visitors. The miniature sentry-box, with 

which the Princes used to play soldiers, is still there, 

and does duty for any other boys now. A beautiful 

park is that surrounding the royal Palace at Char- 

lottenburg, a mile or two out of Berlin. The Palace 

is never occupied nowadays, and you can go over it if 

you. like. In one room is a magnificent collection of 

porcelain, much of which was presented by some 

English merchants to Queen Sophie Charlotte of 

Prussia. In this Palace the Emperor Frederick lived 

for several months, leaving it for the New Palace at 

Potsdam only a few weeks before his death. 

It is in the Charlpttenburg Park that the famous 
Mausoleum stands, which is one of the sights of Berlin. 
Here are the incomparably beautiful recumbent statues 
of King Friedrich Wilhelm III. and his Queen, both 
carveJ^ln 'white Italian marble by the great sculptor 
RapLch. They seem to be asleep, and you feel you 
must tread softly lest you awaken them. Similar 
figures are there of the Emperor William I. and 
his consort, the Empress Augusta. An angel of peace 
keeps watch at the entrance. The walls are of golden- 
brown marble, and over all is a soft blue light, which 
increases the impressiveness of the building. A short 
flight of steps leads down to the vault, which no one 
ever enters excepting the members of the Imperial 
family. The Emperor never misses the anniversary 
of his grandfather's death or birth when in Berlin, but 
motors to the Mausoleum with the Empress, taking 
beautiful wreaths. 

66 



The Lungs of the City 

The most popular of all Berlin's summer resorts is 
the Grunewald-r-a tract of pine and birch woods 
covering nearly thirty square miles. You can get 
there by train for a penny, and by tram for twopence, 
so that it is within reach of everybody. There are 
long and lovely walks in many directions, through 
wooded glades, past romantic lakes, to the most 
charming spots. One favourite point is a,, hunting- 
lodge belonging to the Emperor, which was built by 
an Elector over three hundred years ago. You may sit 
and rest in the old courtyard, and drink a glass of 
delicious buttermilk that the caretaker's daughter will 
bring you for a penny. 

There is a practical arrangement in some of the 
smaller restaurants for people who cannot well afford 
to pay threepence for a cup of coffee that is the price 
in more pretentious establishments. A sign tells you : 
" Hier konnen Familien Kaffee kochen." The Haus- 
frau, who is of a thrifty turn, takes her own coffee with 
her, and can obtain boiling water at a penny a quart, 
with use of cups and coffee-pot thrown in if the milk 
is bought there. Several families, or a whole party of 
young people, with slender means at their command, 
will take their afternoon meal in this fashion at primi- 
tive tables in the woods or gardens. They bring their 
own cake with them from the city, and a very merry 
party it always is. After tea, or rather coffee, there 
are games, or someone reads aloud until the shadows 
lengthen and it is time to return home. 

There used to be great herds of deer in the Grune- 
wald, and in the winter the pretty animals were so 
tame that they would almost eat out of your hands. 



Berlin 

Now, however, they have nearly all been removed to 
other preserves, as the Emperor has decided not to 
shoot there any more. The Grunewald is crowded 
on Sundays in summer with merry picnickers, and in 
the winter there is plenty of tobogganing on the 
slopes. It was in these woods that the Boy Scouts 
displayed their skill a year or two ago to the Berlin 
boys ; and it is here that the latter have their drill in 
similar manner, under the instruction of non-com- 
missioned officers. The " Path-finders " are an asso- 
ciation very much like the Boy Scouts, and the 
Wandervogel are another. 

The Zoological Gardens, are a very popular place 

of amusement, and on the first Sunday in the month, 

when the entrance-fee is reduced to threepence, you 

can scarcely see the animals for people. The Gardens 

are very large and beautifully laid out : there are lovely 

old trees that afford shade, and splendid playgrounds 

for children, with everything they can desire in the 

way of swings and trapezes, and clean sand for the 

tiny ones to dig in. In winter the broad paths are 

flooded, so that the skating is capital. Fine military 

bands play at alternate ends of the chief promenade, 

and thousands of people sit outside at coffee and supper 

in summer, listening to the music and watching the 

crowd. There are very handsome indoor restaurants 

and terraces, with accommodation for twenty thousand 

diners, and the Zoo is a very fashionable place in which 

to spend the evening. 

As to the animals^ the ..cpllectipn,.is,one of the best 
and largest J.n the world, and they all look as happy 

Their 
68 



The Lungs of the City 

houses are very spacious and quite works of art, and 
in summer they are all outside in grounds of their 
own. So well cared for are the birds and beasts that 
many species which, as a rule, never brood or breed 
in captivity, have brought up little families with the 
utmost cheerfulness. 

Berlin's Botanic Gardens recently underwent a 
move to more commodious premises farther out of the 
town. It seemed a funny idea to transport a botanic 
garden, but it succeeded very well. The tall palms and 
other trees were carefully packed and laid upon long 
carts, and have taken very kindly to their new sur- 
roundings. The move lasted a couple of years, and 
the new Gardens, though already very pretty, will 
need a good many years more before they arrive at 
perfection. 

Tempelhof Field a vast common, where the re- 
views of the Berlin garrison have been held for the 
past two hundred years is a great resort for football- 
players. It is a capital place for games of all kinds, 
because you may go on the grass, as it is uncultivated 
land. It is said Tempelhof Field is large enough to 
hold the whole standing army of Germany ; but there 
is a talk of building on part of it before long. It was 
there that Mr. Wright and other aviators ascended, 
before Berlin had its proper aerodrome, and it was over 
Tempelhof Field that the first majestic Zeppelin 
dirigible, with the Count on board, sailed, and bowed 
her prow to the Emperor amidst the enthusiasm of 
thousands of people. The Field is bounded by the 
ancient village of Tempelhof, which belonged to the 
Knights Templars until the thirteenth century. 



Berlin 
CHAPTER XI 

THE IMPERIAL FAMILY 

THE Kaiser, as he is universally called, is the German 
Emperor, and not, as is sometimes erroneously said, 
the Emperor of Germany. The reason for this dis- 
tinction is that Germany has over twenty other rulers 
besides, including three Kings. The Emperor is also 
King of Prussia, and when he makes any appointments 
in the State of Prussia it is under this title. The Kings 
of Saxony, Bavaria, and Wurtemberg are Royal 
Majesties, while the Emperor is always spoken of as 
an Imperial Majesty. The Crown Prince's title proper 
is Wilhelm, German Crown Prince, Prince of Prussia, 
and this is on his visiting cards. While the Crown 
Prince is an Imperial Highness, and his wife, of course, 
also, his brothers and sisters are, like his own children, 
Royal Highnesses. 

There is no family anywhere more united than the 
Imperial family of Germany. The Emperor and 
Empress have brought up their children very simply. 
The Princes have had to learn as much as any other 
German boys, and even more, but they were all bright 
and clever scholars, and did their teachers credit. 
Six sons were born to their Majesties before the little 
daughter came, and then there were great rejoicings. 
You can imagine how the one small sister always 
called " Sissie " was petted by her six big brothers. 
Princess Victoria Luise stood all the indulgence, how- 
ever, very well. She shared the games of the younger 

70 



The Imperial Family 

boys and rode her Shetland pony with them in the 
Park before she was five, her long golden hair flying in 
the wind. 

Her little Royal Highness was such a madcap that 
her father used to call her his " best boy." Among 
her many escapades was the following : The Empress, 
with her younger children, was spending the summer 
at Cadinen, in East Prussia, where the Emperor bought 
a manor-house, with a big farm attached, about ten 
years ago. The Princess gloried in the farm, as was 
only natural, and was soon initiated into the mysteries 
of milking and churning, and all the rest of the de- 
lightful occupations. One afternoon the Empress was 
entertaining visitors in the drawing-room some ladies 
from a neighbouring estate. Suddenly the door flew 
open, and Princesschen, her attire bearing visible 
traces of the farmyard, rushed in, carrying something 
very carefully in her arms. Hurrying across the room 
to her mother, she cried : " Mamma, just look at this 
little darling !" and deposited in the Empress's lap a 
pink sucking-pig. 

But, in spite of all the affectionate indulgence with 
which she was surrounded, the Princess received the 
same sterling education that every German girl of 
good family receives. She speaks several languages 
perfectly ; she is well up in mathematics ; can play and 
sing, paint and model, and also knows how to cook. 
It is said she enjoyed the cooking-lessons immensely, 
and was very proud when she prepared some dishes to 
her father's approval. 

The Empress is adored by her children and grand- 
children, and she is never so happy as when in the 

7* 



Berlin 

family circle. Her Majesty was very simply brought 
up herself in Holstein, and she and her sisters were 
loved by all the villagers round Primkenau, her father's 
house, for their kindness of heart, and now, as German 
Empress, her great benevolence makes her everywhere 
beloved too. The young Holstein Princess was always 
very religious, and the Empress has assisted towards 
the building of a great many churches in Berlin and 
neighbourhood. Berlin people are not addicted much 
to church-going, but, following the example of the 
Emperor and Empress, a good many now seldom miss 
attending service once on a Sunday. 

The Emperor is very clever and many-sided. He 
inherits his artistic talents from his mother, the Em- 
press Frederick ; and a well-known American financier 
once declared that there was no better man of business 
anywhere than the German Emperor. And, of course, 
he is a soldier above everything. His Majesty's 
favourite dogs are three little dachshunds, those most 
intelligent, amusing, and self-willed specimens of all 
the canine race. This trio of mischief is allowed 
everywhere. The dogs accompany the Emperor on 
his walks, and frequently on his travels. They are 
equally at home on board the Imperial yacht Hohtn- 
zollern and in their master's study, where they lie at 
his feet while he is settling the affairs of the nation. 
All three are tan-coloured and extremely pretty. 
Princess Victoria Luise is very fond of them too, and 
often takes one or more with her for a drive in the 
governess-car that was Queen Alexandra's present 
to her. 

The Crown Prince and his charming young wife are 

72 



The Imperial Family 

exceedingly popular. He is a great lover of sport, 
besides being very keen on his military duties, and he 
is a good all-round sportsman himself. He is a fine 
horseman, yachtsman, and tennis-player, and the 
Princess shares his tastes. Her Imperial Highness is 
an ardent lover of animals and a great friend to the 
German S.P.C.A., or Tierschutzverein, and has 
set her face dead against the horrors of vivisection. 
The Crown Princess permits no bearing-reins in her 
stables, and has persuaded the Emperor to abolish 
those instruments of torture in his own. The small 
sons of their Imperial Highnesses are dear little 
fellows, and are beginning to salute you when 
they meet you by putting their tiny hands to 
their sailor-caps in correct military fashion. Prince 
Wilhelm, who will some day become Emperor, is a 
tall boy of three, and rides his Shetland pony quite 
well alone. 

When a Prince of the Hohenzollern family reaches 
the mature age of ten he is made an officer in the 
Prussian Guards. A miniature uniform is made for 
him, with a real sword, and the Emperor presents him, 
with a good deal of ceremony, to his superior officers. 
It is very funny to see the youngest lieutenant doing 
a march past, his short legs trying hard to keep step 
with the big guardsmen, and every now and then being 
obliged to take an extra running step or be left behind. 
This incident over, he goes back to school, and only 
enters upon proper military service some eight or nine 
years later. Prince Adalbert, the Emperor's third son, 
is the sailor of the family, and lives at Kiel when not 
at sea. Prince August Wilhelm, the next in age, has 

73 10 



Berlin 

great literary tastes, and has taken his doctor's degree 
at the Berlin University, 

The Emperor has so many residences he doesn't 
know what to do with them, and he would willingly 
part with some of them if he could. The reason for 
this is that, when Germany was made an Empire, in 
1871, a good many small States were taken over by 
Prussia, among them being the Kingdom of Hanover, 
the Duchy of Nassau, the Electorate of Hesse-Cassel, 
and some minor principalities in the Rhine country, 
Of course all these smaller rulers had their own castles 
and palaces and fortresses, some of them big and some 
little, and every one of them came into the possession 
of the King of Prussia. Some the most desirable 
among them have been restored or enlarged, but 
others are in places where the Emperor never has 
occasion to go, while a goodly number are totally 
unfitted for royal residences at the present day. It 
was not possible to sell them at the time, for fear of 
hurting people's feelings, and even to-day there are 
political reasons why most of them should not be 
disposed of or rented. Two of them, however, did 
recently come into the market ; but the rest, having 
to be kept in condition at considerable expense, are a 
sort of white elephant to the Crown. 

Among the sixty odd residences he owns, the 
Emperor's favourite is the New Palace at Potsdam, 
which he always speaks of as " home." The Empress 
is said to prefer the Palace of Wilhelmshdhe, near Cassel, 
to any of the Imperial possessions. Wilhelmshshe has 
an unusually beautiful park, with wonderful waterfalls 
and fountains. The Great Fountain is one of the 

74 



Berlin in Spring 

highest in Europe, rising to over 200 feet. It was at 
this Palace that the Emperor Napoleon III. was con- 
fined a prisoner after the Franco-German War. 



CHAPTER XII 
BERLIN IN SPRING 

" FRITZ ! the spring is here. Bring out the garden !" 
This is what every restaurant or cafe proprietor in 
Berlin says to his waiter as soon as the days begin to 
get warm and the almond-trees put out their pink 
blossoms. The waiter may not always be Fritz, it is 
true ; he may be Heinrich, or August, or Johannes, 
but the garden is always the same. It consists of any 
number of long, narrow, green boxes, containing a 
tall framework of ivy. Placed together in a row on 
the pavement, with a few more to form the end, some 
chairs and small white-draped tables inside, the garden 
is complete. There are variations, according to the 
standing of the restaurant, the size of its frontage, and 
the taste of the owner. Some of the gardens have 
wooden flooring and gay awnings, while the walls, 
instead of being of cheap homely ivy, are of flowering 
creepers, with all sorts of bright flowers in pots in 
between, and there is always electric lighting for 
the evening. Everything is gay and cheerful, and 
the clatter of plates and glasses, the sound of 
merry voices, and the odour of " bifsteak " pervade 
the air. 

Then there are the big real gardens in the Tiergarten, 
where bands play, and friends meet for afternoon 

i 75 



Berlin 

coffee and supper. Berlin people dine, with few 
exceptions, in the middle of the day. Even English 
residents generally fall into the custom, as theatres 
and concerts begin very early. A very favourite 
adjunct to a simple supper in summer is dicke Milch 
thick milk. This is fresh milk put into small shallow 
glass dishes made for the purpose, and left untouched 
until it is quite firm, with a rich cream on it. It is 
eaten with sugar and, sometimes, crumbled brown 
bread, and is very wholesome. I know a gentleman 
of eighty-four, who attributes his robust health to a 
supper of dicke Milch every night of his life. 

May is called the Wonnemonat, or the month of 
delight, in Germany. It certainly is in Berlin the 
most beautiful month of all the year. The chestnut 
and hawthorn-trees are in full blossom, the limes are 
coming out, and the nightingales sing in the Tier- 
garten in hundreds. Contrary to English ideas, May 
is considered the lucky month for marriages, and you 
meet wedding carriages everywhere. The bride- 
groom if he is not an officer, when he is in uniform 
wears a dress-coat for the occasion, no matter what 
time of day the wedding is. So also do all the gentle- 
men guests ; in fact, the " swallow-tail " is donned on 
all ceremonious occasions in Germany, morning or 
evening, which seems a very queer custom to English 
people. 

The bridegroom fetches the bride from her home, 
taking her a bouquet, and driving with her to church. 
To be married in travelling costume is unknown in 
Germany ; every bride must be married in white, with 
a long veil and a wreath of myrtle. 

76 



Berlin in Spring 

wedding symbol to a German bride, as orange-blossoms 
are to an English one. The glossy, dark-green leaves, 
and the tiny white blossoms, are very becoming and 
pretty, arranged under the soft net of the veil, and 
especially so when the bride has fair hair, as is so often 
the case in Germany. A conventional Berlin wedding 
is rather an infliction for the bridal pair, and usually 
a most expensive matter. The ceremony takes place 
about four o'clock in the afternoon, as a general thing, 
after which everyone drives to a fashionable hotel, 
where two or three large rooms are engaged for the 
occasion. 

The banquet begins about six, and goes on till 
eleven, or even later. You do not, happily, sit still all 
the time, but after every speech you rise and cross the 
room to clink glasses with the bride and bridegroom. 
The speeches are often very humorous. Nearly always, 
someone recites a poem, written for the occasion, full 
of witty allusions to episodes in the life of the bridal 
pair, from babyhood upwards. This is sometimes the 
work of a member of the family for the Germans are 
great rimesters ; but if there is no one clever enough 
in that line, the material is supplied to a professional 
poet, who makes a good living by doing this kind of 
work. There are all sorts of little entertainments 
between the courses, such as songs and musical sketches, 
so that there is plenty of fun and no stiffness or senti- 
mentality. The bride and bridegroom do not get 
away to change their dress and start on their honey- 
moon until long after midnight ; but they do not mind 
that ; they say it only comes once in a lifetime. The 
guests remain together often till daylight. There is a 

77 



Berlin 

dance, and about three or four o'clock you have break- 
fast. Nobody is tired, and you get home to bed when 
other people are starting for business. 

Easter is a great festival in spring-time. The shops 
are full of " eggs " of every description. The con- 
fectioners present bewildering masses of chocolate, 
marzipan, and sugar-eggs, and pretty wooden and 
paper boxes in egg-form, filled with delicious bon-bons. 
All these eggs are supposed to have been laid by the 
Easter hare a German tradition, the origin of which 
is obscure. Easter hares, when not made of chocolate 
or sugar entirely, are of cardboard, and are then, of 
course, hollow. Even the smallest toddler under- 
stands the mechanism of an Easter hare, and knows 
that the process by which the sweet contents are 
obtainable is to pull off its head. 

The great fun on Easter Sunday is the family egg- 
hunt. When there is a garden this is a most fascinating 
occupation for young and old, but it goes very well 
indoors too. Papachen and Mamacben hide the eggs 
in every conceivable place. More attention is paid to 
quantity than to quality, the more the better being 
the rule. Sometimes hens' eggs are among them, 
hard-boiled and gaily coloured afterwards* Every boy 
and girl is furnished with a small basket, and the hunt 
begins. It happens occasionally that one of the seekers 
is less fortunate than the rest, and his face betrays his 
disappointment ; then Pa$achen or Mamachen^ti 
on the watch for a just distribution points, unseen 
by the others, to a corner where there is a well-stocked 
nest, and harmony is speedily restored. The Emperor 
used to be very clever at hiding the Easter eggs for his 

78 



Berlin in Spring 

children in the Bellevue Gardens, and there was always 
a merry party there. But the Imperial children are 
grown up now, and so this particular form of fun is 
handed down to the Crown Prince's little ones, while 
the elder members of the family give each other eggs 
of a more mature character. 

The Grand Review on Tempelhof Field takes place 
on June I. For weeks beforehand the streets have 
presented a busy scene, the troops of soldiers of every 
regiment marching and riding out with their fine 
bands to drill. Everyone runs to the windows and 
balconies to watch them pass until the last strains of 
the music have died away ; but it is not long before 
another comes, and so a good deal of time is pleasantly 
wasted. A Berlin schoolboy will ask you : " Why is 
it always fine weather on Review Day ?" and when 
you say you give it up, he tells you it is because the 
review doesn't take place at all in bad weather. 

On Review Day everyone is up early. The streets 
are lined with crowds of people ; all the platforms built 
at the entrance of the Field are filled to the last place ; 
and the majority of the seats are usually occupied by 
English and Americans. Their Majesties leave 
Potsdam before nine o'clock ; the Emperor motors to 
the barracks of the Dragoon Guards the fine regi- 
ment of which the King of England is Honorary 
Colonel and there mounts his horse. Sometimes the 
Empress is on horseback too ; but generally she drives 
with Princess Victoria Luise in an open carriage, drawn 
by six black horses, with gorgeous trappings and out- 
riders. The Crown Princess comes in a similar equipage 
with her children. The Crown Prince and his brothers 

79 



Berlin 

are with their respective regiments. There are always 

a good many royal and princely guests of the Emperor 

present, and innumerable foreign uniforms are to be seen. 

The review is a very grand military spectacle, and 

it is no wonder the Prussians are proud of their soldiers. 

When it is over which is usually by eleven o'clock, 

on account of the heat the Emperor rides back to 

the Schloss, surrounded by the Princes and officers, 

and followed by the flag company and the rest of the 

troops. His Majesty and the Empress are always 

enthusiastically cheered all along the route, aipid also 

the Crown Prince and Princess. Each member of the 

Imperial family, as well as any particular favourite of 

the crowd, comes in for his share of hochs and 

" hurrahs." The sun shines down on the glittering 

helmets ; band after band plays its stirring marches ; 

the whole scene is very gay and animated. The day 

terminates with a gala performance at the Royal Opera, 

generally something light and suited to the warm 

weather, like a short but brilliantly mounted ballet. 

Their Imperial Majesties, with their family and guests, 

are always present, and the whole of the stalls are 

given up to the officers, whose bright uniforms make 

a kaleidoscope of colouring. 



CHAPTER XIII 

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR 

A GERMAN Christmas is a thing to be remembered 
with pleasure ever after. It is the great festival of the 
whole year, and the chief celebration is not, as in 

80 



,,,, y _^>< ; "';-?i^' 

ty/P/^W*, 




POTSDAM, bANS&OUCI PALACE. 



Christmas and New Year 

England, on Christmas Day, but on Christmas Eve 
Holy Eve, the Germans call it. Christmas is felt in 
the air long before the time comes. An atmosphere 
of delightful mystery pervades the house. Parcels of 
all kinds and puzzling shapes arrive and disappear, and 
as the long-expected day draws near there is often one 
room that it is strictly forbidden to enter, and which 
becomes a pleasant kind of Bluebeard's Chamber to the 
children. The W eihnachtsmann (the Christmas Man) 
or the Cbristkind (the Christ-child) takes the place of the 
English Santa Claus. The former is especially firmly 
believed in, and just a little bit feared, for he is credited 
with a rod for naughty children hidden away in his sack 
of toys with which the good ones are to be regaled. 

The elder children have their secrets, too. The 
girls meet their friends once a week for a long time 
before the festive season, to do all sorts of surprise- 
work for parents and relatives. The little party takes 
place at each house in turn, and, of course, no grown- 
ups are permitted to be present. After chocolate and 
Schlagsahne and cake has been partaken of, the Back- 
fisches sit round a table and become very industrious, 
while, generally, one reads an entertaining book. This 
weekly party is called a Kranzchen, and is very popular 
in the winter months. The boys are seldom allowed 
within the sacred precincts of a Kranzchen, but they 
are busy in their own room with fretwork and all 
kinds of pretty and useful articles to rejoice someone's 
heart at Christmas. At school the smaller children 
always learn a Christmas poem to recite on Holy Eve, 
and their parents must never hear it before the proper 
time, or the effect would be quite lost. 

81 ii 



Berlin 

The streets arc so crowded towards Christmas that 
you can hardly get along, and everybody Is laden with 
parcels. The shops are more fascinating than ever, 
and the windows of the big stores always represent 
some wonderful scene out of fairyland, the persons of 
which are big dolls. In some parts of the city long lines 
of wooden booths are erected, where mechanical toys, 
wooden animals, and all sorts of cheap knick-knacks are 
sold. These are a great attraction for the children. 
In former days there used to be a Christmas market 
held quite near the Imperial Castle, where everything 
was sold at popular prices. The Emperor Frederick, 
when he was Crown Prince, used to go there with his 
children, who enjoyed themselves Immensely. This, 
though, like many customs, belongs to a past genera- 
tion. 

About ten days before Christmas the trees arrive 

from the country. You see great carts going through 

the streets, piled up with fir-trees bound tightly 

together, and then everyone feels that the joyful 

season is close at hand. Within twenty-four hours 

they are all unpacked, and at many street corners, and 

in all the open spaces and squares, you walk through 

little avenues of beautiful pine-trees, and may almost 

fancy yourself in the Harz Forests, from which 

the majority of them come. The fragrance fills the 

air for quite a long way, so sweet and fresh are the 

trees. There are mighty giants, many feet high, to be 

purchased by those who have room for them, and 

others of medium height, that can stand on the floor 

of your dining-room and almost touch the ceiling, 

and quite tiny ones to stand on a table. Every German 

82 



Christmas and New Year 

family has its tree on Holy Eve, or it would not be 
Christinas to them. 

If it is proper Christmas weather hard frost, blue 
skies, and plenty of snow you will see a good many 
sleighs in the Tiergarten. They are very smart little 
vehicles, and the horses fly along at a great pace, as the 
sleigh runs so easily. The snow-cloths are very 
picturesque : they are generally very bright in colour, 
and those of the Emperor's sleigh are pale blue. They 
are attached to the harness and keep the snow from 
being thrown into the vehicle by the horses' hoofs. 
When the snow is very deep, sledges sometimes take 
the place of cabs. There is nothing more delightful 
than a sleighing-party out to the Grunewald and home 
by moonlight. It is so exhilarating, flying silently over 
the snowy tracks, but you must be well wrapped up in 
rugs. Berlin coachmen in winter drive like the 
Russians, with one rein in each hand. It is almost 
impossible to hold the reins in the English manner 
wearing the thick fur gloves that are a necessity. 

Christmas Eve, in a family where there are children, 
always begins in much the same way. As soon as it 
gets properly dark, everyone, excepting papa or mamma, 
assembles in a state of expectant excitement near the 
Bluebeard's Chamber which is generally a large 
drawing-room. The room in which the expectant 
ones sit is kept dusk, and carols are sung. There is 
one specially beautiful Christmas carol called " Stille 
Nacht, heilige Nacht," which is as familiar to every 
German as his ABC. Suddenly the tinkle of a bell 
is heard from the chamber of mystery. Everyone stops 
singing and holds his breath ; it rings a second time, 

83 



Berlin 

and everybody prepares for the rush ; at the third 
ring the doors are thrown open, and in a trice you are 
inside. All other lights are turned off, but the candles 
on the tree make the room brilliant. Sometimes the 
tree is dressed with all kinds of pretty sparkling things, 
but it is more usual to have it all white and silver, the 
branches covered with artificial snow and Reif. Tables, 
white-covered, are laden with all kinds of gifts : a 
different: table for every member of the family, as a 
rule, and everybody, strange to say, finds exactly the 
things he or she has been longing for. There is a 
Bunte Teller : or, to translate it literally, a variegated 
plate, for each person. Among its contents are red- 
cheeked apples, and dozens of nuts of all kinds, various 
types of the famous honey-cake, and, of course, plenty 
of marzipan this last delicacy generally in fancy 
forms, many quite artistic. The servants have their 
own table, and often their own little tree, with a great 
many useful and pretty presents, sometimes a substantial 
gift of money as well, and, of course, a Bunte Teller. 
The week between Christmas and New Year is a 
series of festivities. At the theatres, which are 
crowded, there is usually a special play for children, 
but it is enjoyed just as much by their elders. The 
main theme is a well-known fairy-tale, but the author 
weaves into it his own funny and poetic ideas, and 
there is always a grand transformation-scene at the end. 
A dazzlingly brilliant tree, reaching to the ceiling, 
always plays a prominent part in the apotheosis, and 
everyone, on the stage and off it, sings " Stille Nacht " 
in chorus, which has a very pretty and impressive effect. 
New Year's Eve, called Sylvester Eve in Germany, 



Christmas and New Year 

is the merriest night in all the year. Sometimes it is 
passed in the family circle at home, when there are all 
kinds of fun, games, and drawing-room fireworks, and 
an expedition is made to the kitchen to melt lead. 
This is great sport. The lead is sold ready in little 
fancy blocks, and everybody melts his piece in turn in 
an iron spoon over the fire. As soon as the lead 
becomes fluid, it is quicldy poured into a basin of 
cold water, and the shape it takes is supposed to denote 
events in the coming year. As midnight approaches, 
the Christmas-tree is again lighted up with a new relay 
of candles, watches are compared, the punch and 
dough-nuts stand ready, and everyone listens at the 
open windows for the sound of the bells. At the 
stroke of twelve everyone cries " Prosit Neujahr !" all 
at once ; people who have never seen each other before 
greet each other from the balconies ; and all down the 
street echoes the joyous cry. 

Many people pass Sylvester Eve at a restaurant, 
which is such a popular custom that tables have to be 
ordered for parties long beforehand. A great deal of 
mirth prevails, and it is the one day of the year when 
any species of hurdy-gurdy is tolerated. The organ- 
grinders reap a perfect harvest, going from one smart 
restaurant to another, and playing only a few bars 
which are always more than enough ! The trees are 
lighted up here, too, and everyone greets his neighbour 
at midnight with the same hearty " Prosit Neujahr !" 
It is always safer to wait a while in the rooms before 
going home, for outside, in the Friedrich Strasse and 
Unter den Linden and adjacent streets, the crowds 
are ,so dense that it is hardly possible to make your 

85 



Berlin 

way through. Everyone is shouting the customary 
greeting, and you would be thought very churlish not 
to respond. 

Sometimes the crowd becomes riotous and eager for 
mischief. A tall hat is then the butt if the wearer is 
not very quick, and this pleasant trait in a Sylvester 
crowd is so well known that no Berliner would think of 
wearing one* It is the country cousin who suffers. The 
police, who are on duty in great numbers, keep a watch- 
ful eye, but they do not interfere unless matters become 
serious, for New Year's Eve is the recognized holiday, 
the one day in the year when mild excesses are winked at. 
New Year's Day begins in a very cheerful manner. 
At eight o'clock the grand reveille is sounded. In the 
cupola of the Imperial Schloss the trumpeters play a 
beautiful chorale, which echoes far and wide. Then 
they descend to the courtyard and unite with a couple 
of bands, and all march down the Linden to Branden- 
burg Gate and back again, playing splendidly all the 
way. It is worth while getting up early, even if you 
have a headache, to hear this stirring and impressive 
welcoming-in of the New Year. Two hours later 
crowds line the Linden to see the State coaches 
bringing the Princes, Ambassadors, distinguished 
officers and statesmen to the Schloss for the Court of 
Felicitation, which is preceded by a service in the 
Chapel. No matter how cold it may be, there is always 
an appreciative crowd of spectators. 

On New Year's Day you need a full purse of small 
change, for it is the universal tipping season. The 
baker's boy, the woman who brings the daily paper, 
the chimney-sweep, and other hard-working folks, 

86 



The Waterway to Potsdam 

call to wish you a happy New Year, generally handing 
in a descriptive poem, composed and printed for the 
occasion. The postmen are never forgotten, and, 
indeed, they deserve their tip more than anyone, for 
their life is not easy. They have to mount three and 
four flights of stairs dozens of times a day, sometimes 
only to deliver a postcard or a worthless circular. 
Berlin postmen are all thin, which is a significant fact, 
when so many Germans are quite the reverse. After 
New Year has passed the Christmas-tree, now dry 
and brittle, is carried off to the lumber-room, to be 
chopped up for firewood. Many of you, no doubt, 
remember Hans Andersen's pathetic little tale. The i 
tree, however, has fulfilled its mission, and has afforded 
so much real pleasure to young and old that I think it 
must feel very proud and contented. 



CHAPTER XIV 
THE WATERWAY TO POTSDAM 

BERLIN'S surroundings are quite lovely, rich in wood 
and water, and the most beautiful direction to take is 
that which leads to Potsdam by the Havel. Potsdam 
is reached in thirty minutes by train, and there is a 
service of sixty trains a day. Large pleasure-steamers 
ply regularly in summer between the sister towns, but 
the best way is to go to Wannsee by train, taking the 
steamer there. The River Havel is really a series of 
beautiful lakes, large and small, all the way to Potsdam, 
and far beyond. One of the largest is the Wannsee 
Lake, where the sailing regatta is held, in which the 



Berlin 

Crown Prince and his brothers often take part. You 
see a great number of yachts and rowing-boats there at 
all times. On the banks are a good many charming 
villas, every one with its boat-house and landing-stage ; 
and there are several restaurants, with gardens going 
down to the beach. 

Some distance from Wannsee is the historical island 

known as Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island). Many years 

ago there lived on the island a famous alchemist 

named Kunckel von Loewenstern, who enjoyed the 

patronage of the Great Elector. He was the inventor 

of phosphorus and ruby glass, and traces of his laboratory 

may stiU be seen. The island was so picturesque, with 

its big oak-trees and rich vegetation, that it became a 

very favourite resort of the King- Friedrich Wilhelm II. 

He had a palace built there, to represent a ruined 

fortress. The next King loved the romantic little 

island too, and spent many happy days there with his 

wife, Queen Luise, before their troubles came. You 

can see the Russian switchback-railway still that was 

made for the royal children in those days, and many 

other mementoes of a far-off time. The oaks on the 

island are said to be more than a thousand years old. 

In one of the broadest parts of the Havel, on the 
opposite side to Potsdam, is the Babelsberg Palace, one 
of the most beautiful houses in the Emperor's posses- 
sion, though unoccupied now. It is built in Tudor 
style, _ which is not often seen in Germany. The 
Emperor William I. and the Empress Augusta always 
spent a good part of the summer there, and the 
Emperor Frederick, when a youth, lived there a long 
time. Thus the Babelsberg Palace became very dear 

88 




POTSDAM, MlSTOKIC MIUU. 



The Waterway to Potsdam 

to the Empress Frederick, and she was often there with 
her husband and children. The interior is shown, 
with many interesting mementoes of the two Em- 
perors. The Park of Babelsberg is very lovely, with 
its wide-spreading lawns and dense shrubberies, and 
everywhere a view of the broad Havel. 

Passing all sorts of pretty places that tempt one to 
stop and explore, you come in time to Werder, which 
is the other side of Potsdam. It is a great fruit- 
growing district cherries, in particular, growing there 
in orchards that cover several miles. In spring, when 
the trees are in blossom, the Berlin people journey out 
in thousands. Special trains and steamers run, and 
on Sundays the crowds are enormous. When Werder 
is approached from the water, it looks in the distance 
like fields of snow, and is a sight well worth seeing. 
The Empress generally goes there once in the season. 
You sit in the gardens and drink coffee, amidst the 
wealth of blossom, and would not think of returning 
to Berlin without purchasing some snowy branches. 
Bicyclists go out to Werder in great numbers, returning 
with their handle-bars decorated with the lovely 
delicate blossoms, and the people in the streets look 
at them envyingly, knowing the riders have been to 
Werder. 

p The blossom being so beautiful, you can imagine 
how delicious the fruit is. Werder cherries are iamous 
throughout all Northern Germany. The growers have 
their own flotilla of long fiat boats, and come to Berlin 
every morning very early with the loads. The Werder 
women have a little open-air market all to themselves, 
near the busy centre of the Friedrich Strasse terminus. 

80 12 



Berlin 

All their fruit is splendid, and they are quite aware of 
their superiority over oilier growers. 

The summer residence of the Crown Prince and 
Princessthe Marble Palace is on the banks of 
Heiligcn See, or Holy Lake, one of the quietest and 
most beautiful lakes of the Havel. It is classically built 
and close to the water's edge. You will be amused 
to learn that the exquisite little building adjoining 
the Palace, which looks like an ancient temple, is the 
Imperial kitchen. The present Emperor and Empress 
used to live at the Marble Palace when they were 
Prince and Princess Wilhelm, and the Crown Prince 
and most of his brothers were born there, so it is no 
wonder his Imperial Highness is fond of it. The Crown 
Princess is very often seen early in the morning, rowing 
her little boys on the lake, or sailing with her husband. 
When the Emperor and Empress go anywhere on the 
Havel, or to the regatta on the Spree which runs into 
the former river they always use their big steam 
yacht Alexandra^ which is kept in readiness at the 
royal naval station. 



CHAPTER XV 
POTSDAM 

NOBODY would ever dream of going to Berlin without 
paying a visit to Potsdam. The town is of no great 
interest in itself : it is its beautiful situation and the 
splendour of the royal palaces, with their historical 
associations, that have made Potsdam famous through- 
out the world. There is so much to see that you 

90 



Potsdam 

hardly know where to begin. In the quaint old 
Garrison Church, in the middle of the town, lie the 
remains of Frederick the Great. When the mighty 
Napoleon came to Berlin, he, too, visited Potsdam 
and the Garrison Church. Going into the vault where 
his great brother-monarch lay, gazing at the coffin, 
he said : " Didst thou not lie here, neither should I 
be here !" Frederick the Great always desired to be 
buried "beneath the terrace of the Sanssouci Palace, 
which he had built and which he loved so dearly. He had 
a vault made in readiness, and once said to his friend, 
the Marquis d'Argens : " Quand je seria la, je serai 
sans souci !" But his wish was disregarded, and he 
was buried by his father's side, while in the vault the 
King had made for himself his favourite horse and 
dogs were interred. There are a good many flags in 
the Garrison Church that were taken in different 
battles. They hang there, torn to ribbons, faded, 
tragic mementoes. They are all the more valuable 
now, as the flags in the Berlin Garrison Church 
were destroyed by fire some years ago. The Potsdam 
Church has a chime of melodious old Dutch bells, that 
plays a chorale every hour, and another at the half- 
hour. Everyone passing stands to listen to the quaint 
strains till they die away. 

It has been said by competent judges that the 
Emperor's gardens are the finest in the world, those of 
the Czar at Peterhof not even excepted. Certainly 
anything more beautiful than Sanssouci cannot well 
be imagined. You may wander for hours amidst the 
loveliest surroundings, nature and art combining to a 
perfect whole. One of the gardens is called the 

91 



Berlin 

Sicilian Garden. It is full of tropical plants, with 
marble statues and fountains, and it leads into the 
Northern Garden, which Is equally beautiful in a 
more rugged style. Then there is the Paradise 
Garden, which, with its trellised winding paths and 
wealth of espalier and hanging fruit, is an imitation 
of a Northern Italian garden. And everywhere there 
are fountains and cascades in graceful and original 
forms. The Great Fountain rises to a height of 
130 feet, and only plays on Sundays and Wednesdays. 

The Emperor is justly proud of the fruit, grown in 
his gardens and glass-houses. Whenever he is on his 
Norwegian cruise in the summer,, baskets of fresh 
flowers and fruit and vegetables are packed in ice, 
and conveyed by special messenger overland to the 
ports where the Hohtnzollern puts in. There are 
beautiful niches and grottoes scattered about the 
Park and grounds. One pavilion, called the Japanese 
Tea House, always amuses children exceedingly. The 
roof is covered with monkeys, whose eyes follow you 
wherever you go. At frequent intervals you come 
upon marble statues of rare beauty. 

A long, broad flight of steps, with many terraces 
bounded by exquisite flowers and espalier fruit, leads 
to the Palace of Sanssouci, which is full of reminiscences 
of Frederick the Great, who lived there so many years. 
The rooms have been little changed since that time. 
You may see the chair in which the King died, and the 
clock that he always wound up himself, and which 
stopped at the moment of his death. Frederick the 
Great was passionately fond of music, and his music- 
room, with his flute and spinet, is just as he left it. 

92 



Potsdam 

There are many traces, too, of Voltaire, -who was so 
long the favourite of the King, on account of his wit 
and satire. They quarrelled often, each trying to 
outdo the other in caustic remarks. Sometimes they 
were like two schoolboys. One day the King, to 
irritate his guest, wrote on a sheet of paper : " Voltaire 
is an ass !" and laid it on his plate at the dinner-table. 
Voltaire observed that it was unsigned, and asked 
permission to sign it for the King, which was accorded. 
The paper was then passed along the table, and the 
royal host read the words : " Voltaire is an ass, 
Frederick the Second !" 

In the picture-gallery at Sanssouci are some fine 
paintings. Guido Reni's " Ecce Homo " hangs there, 
which is always used as an altar-piece at a christening, 
marriage, or funeral in the Hohenzollern family. It 
is said that during the last hours of the Emperor 
Frederick the picture a great favourite of his was 
hung at the foot of his bed. 

Just outside the gates of Sanssouci stands the 
"Historical Windmill. 3 ' This belonged to a simple, 
but very energetic miller in the days of Frederick the 
Great, who went to law against the King, and won his 
case, wherefore Prussian legislature is always held up 
as a model of justice. It is popularly said that the 
King objected to the noise of the sails, and wished the 
miller to go, which he very properly refused to do. 
Another version is that the objections arose from the 
miller, because a wall that had been built by the King 
kept the wind away from his sails, and so business 
suffered. Whichever version was correct, however, 
the miller was victorious. 

93 



Berlin 

Sanssouci Palace is never occupied now, but foreign 
visitors are occasionally accommodated at the Orangery, 
a small palace in the Italian style a little farther away. 
The New Palace is a mile beyond, a broad avenue 
leading through the Park to its gates. It was erected 
by Frederick the Great about 1765, soon after the 
termination of the Seven Years' War. It is said the 
King, who lived very simply at Sanssouci, was irritated 
at the remarks of the people, who declared he had no 
money after the war. So he said he would prove he 
had plenty of means at his command. The ground 
where the New Palace now stands was a vast swamp, 
but the King gave his orders, and the building cost 
him altogether oyi ...... 450,000. It is a magnificent 

pile, and he lived there a good many years, but he never 
loved it as he loved Sanssouci. 

The interior of the New Palace is well worth seeing, 
but the finest room of all is called the Muschelsaal, or 
Hall of Shells. The walls and ceiling of this vast 
saloon are inlaid with corals, crystals, and rare shells, 
many of the stones being of great value. It is here 
that the Imperial family always celebrate Christmas 
Eve. The candles on the trees one tree for each 
member of the family cause the walls to sparkle and 
flash till the whole looks like a scene out of the " Arabian 
Nights." In this beautiful room, too, the Emperor 
frequently grants audiences and welcomes any visitors 
who may be coming to stay at the palace. There is a 
theatre in the palace which seats five hundred persons, 
and here there are sometimes performances by artists 
from the royal theatres when their Majesties do not 
feel inclined to go to Berlin. 

94 



Potsdam 

It was at the New Palace that the Emperor 
Frederick died. The heroic manner in which he bore 
his suffering is known to all. For many weeks before 
his death he could not speak, even in a whisper, but 
had to write everything he wished to say. Once he 
wrote to his youngest daughter, now Princess Friedrich 
Karl of Hesse, who was sitting by his side : " Lerne 
leiden, ohne zu klagen !" He had indeed learnt to 
suffer without murmuring. The Emperor was in- 
terred in the Mausoleum in the Friedens Kirche, the 
Church of Peace, at the entrance to Sanssouci Park, 
and there the Empress Frederick was laid also. Her 
Majesty's body was brought from Cronberg, where she 
died, and the sad funeral procession passed slowly 
through the beautiful avenues of the Park all the way 
to the church. King Edward and Queen Alexandra 
were among the mourners. The Friedens Kirche is 
built in the Early Christian basilica style ; the tower, 
as in so many Italian churches, is at the side. There 
is another beautiful church in similar style at Sacrow, 
a village on the Havel, very near Potsdam. 

The Wildpark Woods around the New Palace are 
lovely. It is there that the Christmas-trees for the 
Emperor's family are cut down. His Majesty always 
makes a point of choosing them himself. With his 
daughter, he generally takes a stroll through the wood, 
accompanied by a forester, and the most perfectly 
formed firs are then marked. The rule of the Christ- 
mas-trees erected in the Hall of Shells is : the tallest 
for the Emperor and Empress, the next in size for the 
Crown Prince and Princess, and so on, each a size 
smaller, to quite small ones for the baby-Princes, 

95 



Berlin 

Wildpark Station, being close to the New Palace, is 
always used when their Majesties start on a journey, 
and there the Imperial trains are usually kept. 
German trains are much higher than the English 
ones, and the platforms are lower, so you cannot just 
step comfortably into a railway carriage as in England. 
You have to climb up and down in a very awkward 
manner, which for old persons, or if you are carrying 
parcels, is not pleasant. At all stations where the 
members of the Imperial family, or distinguished 
visitors, are likely to arrive or depart, small wooden 
steps are stowed away in readiness,, in company 
with the crimson carpet. When the royal train 
arrives, the steps are run up to the saloon carriage, 
and the privileged persons are able to descend in 
comfort. 

Not only Potsdam, but all its surroundings, are 
beautiful. There are rural villages that make you 
think you are many miles from the town. At one of 
these, Bornstedt, is the Emperpr's home-farm, where 
you can drink delicious milk. " Bornstedt Field " is 
a big drilling-ground for the Potsdam garrison, but the 
reviews are held in the large square or Lnstgarten 
in front of the Town Palace, in the heart of Potsdam. 
The Town Palace is the residence of the Crown Prince, 
when it has grown too cold to live at the Marble 
Palace, and before he comes to Berlin for the season. 

There are many beautiful things to see in Potsdam 
that space forbids me to tell you about, and I can only 
advise you to come and see them all for yourselves. 



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